CLARKSVILLE - Sophomore center fielder Dylan Riner's 11th-inning sacrifice fly brought home the game-winning run as Austin Peay State University's baseball team won a 6-5 extra-inning contest against Indiana State, Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (14-2) won its sixth-straight outing and again had to come from behind. The Govs trailed 5-4 entering the ninth inning when left fielder Cody Hudson led off APSU's half of the frame with a double. Scoring the tying run didn't take long as shortstop Reed Harper followed with a single up the middle, allowing Hudson to score the tying run.
The Govs then had a golden opportunity to win the game in the 10th with two runners on with one out. However, first baseman Craig Massoni grounded to the shortstop, who made a slow relay to get the runner out at second. Massoni appeared to beat the play at first by an easy margin due to the slow play, but was ruled out, ending the inning.
Hudson, who has made a habit of making key plays during the Govs win streak, opened the 11th inning by reaching on an infield error. He then stole second as Harper squared to bunt and advanced to third when the throw by the catcher went into center field. Indiana State intentionally walked Harper and then catcher P.J. Torres to load the bases with no outs. Riner stepped to the plate with one out and hit a ball to deep center field where it was caught, but the throw home was not in time to catch Hudson with the winning run.
Austin Peay jumped out to the game's first lead, scoring two runs in the second inning on RBI singles from Harper and designated hitter Kyle Schlatter, but would leave the bases loaded -the first three of 16 runners left on base by the Govs.
Indiana State (5-6) responded with a three-run fourth inning - first baseman Jeff Zahn delivering two runs with a bases loaded single in the frame. The Govs tied the game at 3-3 in their half of the inning and the team's traded runs in the fifth inning, pushing the score to 4-4.
The Sycamores took advantage of an Austin Peay miscue in the seventh to take its final lead. Catcher Mike Fitzgerald opened the inning with a single and stole second base. He would move to third on a ground ball that was the inning's second out. Right fielder Jacob Hayes struck out on a ball in the dirt, but the ball got past catcher P.J. Torres, allowing the batter to reach base and the run to score. The lead would last two innings before the Govs mounted yet another furious comeback.
Austin Peay closer Tyler Rogers (4-0) picked up the save after pitching a scoreless 11th inning, striking out one. Reliever Alex Belew made his first appearance since facing Georgia Tech in the 2011 NCAA Tournament and threw held Indiana State scoreless in the ninth and 10th innings.
Harper led Austin Peay with a 4-for-5, two RBI outing - posting the Govs first RBI and the game-tying RBI in the ninth. Riner was 3-for-5 with three infield hits and the game-winning sacrifice fly. Hudson was 1-for-4 with two walks and three runs scored.
Indiana State used eight pitchers in the contest, reliever Tyler Browning (0-1) suffering the loss after allowing one unearned run in 1.1 innings. Zahn led Indiana State with a 1-for-4, two RBI effort.
Austin Peay begins a five-game roadtrip with a 4 p.m., Wednesday contest at Lipscomb.