CLARKSVILLE – Ohio Valley Conference leading Austin Peay’s baseball team had few answers for second-place Jacksonville State and suffered a 17-2 loss, Saturday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park.
After fending off a bases loaded situation in the top of the second, Austin Peay (26-16, 12-4 OVC) loaded the bases with no outs in its half of the inning. The Govs scored a run on left fielder Cody Hudson’s single to left, but could not push across another run in the frame as Jacksonville State starter Daniel Watts escaped the jam with a line drive out, a strike out and a fly out.
Jacksonville State (17-23, 11-6 OVC) built off the momentum of that escape sending nine men to the plate in the third. After loading the bases with an APSU error on a strikeout and back-to-back singles, the Gamecocks grabbed the lead on third baseman Sam Eberle’s two-run single.
However, it was first baseman Ben Waldrip, the next batter in the lineup, who did the most damage. He followed Eberle’s single with a home run to right, pushing the JSU lead to 5-1, and added a solo home run in the fifth. Waldrip then put the game out of reach with a three-run blast to straight-away center field in the sixth, that gave JSU an 8-1 lead. He finished the game 4-for-4 with seven RBI, including the three home runs, a second-inning single and a walk.
The Gamecocks would add five more runs in the seventh – two runs coming on left fielder Scott Underwood’s two-run home run – and three runs in the ninth to hand the Govs their worst conference loss since a 20-3 loss to Middle Tennessee in 1999.
Austin Peay starter Ryan Quick (4-2) lasted four-plus innings and allowed six runs on 10 hits – the third straight game he has surrendered 10 hits. He was one of five Governors pitchers to take the mound in the contest, including Lucas Anderson who threw a scoreless eighth inning.
Watts (4-5) took advantage of the enormous run support and held Austin Peay to two runs on eight hits while striking out six over six innings. Reliever Cody Ponder threw three scoreless innings for his season’s third save.
Offensively, Austin Peay finished with 11 hits and reached double-digit hits for the fourth consecutive game. Designated hitter Jon Clinard led the effort with a 3-for-4 outing while second baseman Jordan Hankins and Hudson each finished with two hits and a RBI.
Waldrip wasn’t the only JSU hitter to enjoy Saturday’s action as Underwood and Eberle each posted three hits and two RBI. In addition, right fielder Kyle Bluestein posted a 5-for-5 outing, but did not record a RBI as Waldrip emptied the bases in front of him all day.
Austin Peay and Jacksonville State, who have split the first two games in their OVC series, return for a 1 p.m. rubber contest, Sunday.
Report courtesy Austin Peay Sports Information Department
About Wade Neely
Wade Neely comes to Clarksville after previously serving as Sports Director at WKSR AM-FM and Director of Broadcasting at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn. Neely is a 2009 Electronic Media Communication graduate from Middle Tennessee State.
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SectionsAustin Peay State University, Featured Story, Ohio Valley Conference
TopicsAustin Peay, Baseball, Gary McClure, Govs, Greg Bachman, Jordan Hankins, Reed Harper, Ryan Quick