COOKEVILLE - Austin Peay State University's baseball team secured its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship with a 10-4 victory against Tennessee Tech, Saturday afternoon at Bush Stadium.
Austin Peay (34-21, 19-7 OVC) claimed a share of the 2012 OVC regular-season crown , repeating after winning the 2011 title outright. The Govs shared the regular-season title with Eastern Kentucky, but will enter next week's OVC Baseball Championship as the No. 1 seed as it won the regular-season series between the two teams.
The Govs scored the first nine runs in Saturday's regular-season finale, drawing all of the drama out of the contest. A three-run first inning was punctuated by shortstop Reed Harper's RBI single and third baseman Greg Bachman's RBI double.
However, it was a six-run third inning that broke the game open. Bachman blasted his season's 15th home run to left center, scoring three runs and giving a 6-0 lead. Three batters later, first baseman Tyler Childress added a two-run home run to left field, pushing the Govs advantage to 9-0.
Tennessee Tech (21-32, 10-16 OVC) used an Austin Peay error in the third to score its first run. The Golden Eagles threatened in the fifth inning, loading the bases with two outs against Govs starter Andy Cox. TTU would score a run on an infield single, but shortstop Reed Harper's sliding play saved a run by keeping the ball out of the outfield. Cox worked out of the threat by inducing a line drive that was caught by Childress.
The Golden Eagles led off the sixth with a single and a walk, ending Cox' outing. Reliever Mike Hebert allowed those two runners to score - sandwiching a pair of singles between a fly out and a sacrifice fly. But Hebert would avoid further damage by inducing a fly out to end the inning with APSU leading 10-4.
Bachman led the Govs with a 4-for-4, four RBI outing that included two doubles and a home run. Childress added a 2-for-4, two RBI effort while designated hitter Jon Clinard and Harper each had one RBI.
Cox (5-1) won his second straight OVC start, holding the Golden Eagles to four runs despite an uneven outing that saw him surrender five hits and five walks over five-plus innings.
Tennessee Tech starter David Hess(3-7) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs over 2.1 innings. Shortstop Chad Hayes led the Golden Eagles offense with a 2-for-3, RBI outing.
Austin Peay returns to action at the 2012 OVC Baseball Championship with a 7 p.m., Thursday contest at Pringles Park in Jackson.
NOTES: Bachman finished the regular season with an OVC leading 60 RBI while Hankins finished with 57 RBI and ranked third in the league... left fielder Cody Hudson had a league-leading 21 stolen bases at regular-season's end... Childress' home run extended his streak to 23 games reaching base safely... the regular-season title was Austin Peay's eighth all-time and fifth since 2000.