CLARKSVILLE - Left fielder Cody Hudson put down a perfect bunt as third baseman Kevin Corey raced home and scored to give Austin Peay State University's baseball team a 4-3 victory in 10 innings against Milwaukee, Friday afternoon, in the Riverview Inn Classic at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The suicide squeeze gave the Govs their third straight come-from behind victory and their first extra-inning victory. The Govs improved to 11-2 overall - the best 13-game start in program history.
Milwaukee (3-8) gave Austin Peay all it could handle in the first nine innings. The Panthers scored the game's first run on center fielder Luke Meeteer's RBI infield single in the second. After the Govs took a 2-1 lead, Milwaukee struck back with a pair of leadoff home runs - third baseman Nick Unes hit one in the fifth inning to tie the game and catcher Will Fadness' sixth-inning blast put UWM ahead.
Austin Peay found Milwaukee starter Jake Long to be the stingy sort as they scratched out just a pair of runs on six hits through his seven-plus inning outing. Catcher P.J. Torres tied the game at 1-1 with his second-inning RBI single. Two innings later, the Govs took advantage of a Milwaukee error - Corey pushing home a run with a sacrifice bunt in the third to give APSU a 2-1 lead.
Long would retired 13 of the next 16 batters he would face after giving up the lead, allowing Milwaukee to gain the lead. However, the Govs opened the eighth with back-to-back singles, finally chasing Long from the mound. Milwaukee reliever Jake Tuttle would walk second baseman Jordan Hankins to load the bases. The Panthers then turned to shortstop Alex Erdmann who took the mound and posted back-to-back strikes outs before inducing a fielder's choice to end the APSU threat.
Austin Peay manufactured the tying run in the ninth. Torres led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Brett Carlson. Designated hitter Tommy Hager promptly moved the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Dylan Riner made the work pay off with a single through the right side that allowed Carlson to score, pushing the game to extra innings.
Reliever Tyler Rogers entered the game in the 10th and worked out of a jam thanks to an inning-ending double play. Corey began the Govs half of the inning by beating out a throw at first for an infield single. First baseman Craig Massoni moved Corey to third with a one-out single to shallow right, setting up the game-winning suicide squeeze.
Austin Peay starter Lee Ridenhour went nine innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. Rogers (2-0) picked up the win after tossing the scoreless 10th.
Hudson, who hit a walk-off home run Monday against Michigan State, finished the night 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI. Corey also was 2-for-4 with a RBI and Torres was 2-for-3 with a RBI. Riner had the Govs other RBI as part of a 1-for-3 effort.
Milwaukee reliever Tyler Thicke (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing one run on three hits in the 10th. Starter Jake Long was left with no decision despite allowing only two runs on six hits through seven-plus innings.
Right fielder Derek Peake, second baseman Michael Porcaro and Unes each had two hits to pace the Panthers offense.
Austin Peay continues play in the Riverview Inn Classic with a 3:30 p.m., Saturday contest against Creighton. The Bluejays opened the tournament with a 4-2 victory against UALR, Friday.