CLARKSVILLE – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team scored the game’s first six runs en route to a 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Tennessee Tech, Friday night, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The win was head coach Gary McClure’s 777th career win, moving him into sole possession of the OVC’s career wins mark in his 26th season at Austin Peay. It also was McClure’s 320th career OVC victory, extending his own record.
Austin Peay (25-5, 8-1 OVC) scored in the first inning for only the ninth time this season. The Govs opened their half of the first with right fielder Rolando Gautier’s single. Gautier would score on first baseman Craig Massoni’s double. Massoni would score courtesy an error on left fielder Cody Hudson’s infield single, putting the Govs ahead 2-0.
Second baseman Jordan Hankins doubled the Govs lead in the third with his two-run home run that cleared the batter’s eye in center field. It was his fifth home run this season – each coming at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Tennessee Tech starter Tristan Archer settled in after the home run and retired the next eight batters he faced. However, he ran into trouble again in the sixth when he allowed Hankins to reach base as the leadoff hitter. Reed Harper followed with a two-run single that put the Govs ahead 6-0.doubled with one out and shortstop
Tennessee Tech (21-9, 10-3 OVC) finally got two runners on base at the same time against Austin Peay starter Lee Ridenhour in the seventh inning and capitalized to break up the shutout bid. Third baseman Daniel Miles walked to start the frame and left fielder James Abraham singled.
Then, with one out, right fielder Michael Morris singled to center field where the ball got past APSU’s Dylan Riner and went to the wall, allowing two runs to score and Morris to reach third where he would score on catcher Jordan Parris’ sacrifice bunt, cutting the APSU lead to 6-3.
Ridenhour would allow a walk following the sacrifice bunt but then struck out the final four batters he faced, including the side in order in the eighth. Reliever Kacy Kemmer struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning to secure the victory.
Ridenhour (5-0) remained unbeaten in conference play after allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits over eight innings. He struck out a career-high nine batters for the second consecutive week.
Hankins led the Govs with a 2-for-3, three RBI outing that included a RBI on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. Gautier and Hudson also had two hits each as the Govs posted nine hits in the contest.
Archer (5-2) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on nine hits over 6.1 innings. Shortstop Dylan Bosheers led Tennessee Tech with a 2-for-4 outing.
Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech continue their three-game league series with a 2 p.m., Saturday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.