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Austin Peay Govs fall to Eastern Illinois Panthers late rally

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Governors Sports - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team came out on the short end of a late-game flurry of activity, dropping its Ohio Valley Conference opener, 7-6, to Eastern Illinois, Friday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Starting Austin Peay Pitcher Alex Robles held Eastern Illinois to four runs in seven innings and batted in three runs of his own in Friday's loss.  (Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information) [1]

Starting Austin Peay Pitcher Alex Robles held Eastern Illinois to four runs in seven innings and batted in three runs of his own in Friday’s loss. (Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay (6-10, 0-1 OVC) led 4-1 entering the seventh inning and appeared to have escaped the inning without any trouble when, with two out, Eastern Illinois center fielder Frankie Perrone had a ball hit off the end of his bat towards starting pitcher Alex Robles [2].

Robles, believing the ball was in play, threw the ball to first with what appeared to be an inning-ending out.

Alex Robles [3]However, the umpires gathered near first base and ultimately ruled the ball hit Perrone’s hands and that he had not taken a swing, awarding him first base on the hit by pitch. The Govs, who rushed to the dugout after what they thought was an out, returned to the field.

Robles could not regain his form and surrendered three straight base hits, including a two-run single to right fielder Caleb Howell and a game-tying RBI single to left fielder Demetre Taylor before ending the inning with a ground out, but game was tied 4-4 after the inning.

Eastern Illinois (4-13, 2-2 OVC) took the lead in the eighth after pinch hitter Montana Timmons singled to start the inning. The Panthers manufactured the run thanks to a sacrifice bunt and then a two-out RBI single by shortstop Dane Sauer.

Chase Hamilton [4]Austin Peay responded in its half of the eighth as center fielder Chase Hamilton [5] tripled to center field with one out. After a walk, right fielder Rolando Gautier [6] flew out to shallow left field. However, the throw home and Hamilton arrived at the plate at the same time. The ball got away from the catcher and Hamilton was safe, tying the game, 5-5.

The Panthers again rallied to take the lead in the ninth. Eastern Illinois began the inning with a bunt single by Gasbarro followed by a single and an RBI double by Taylor. Three batters later, third baseman Tyler Schweigert hit a RBI single, giving EIU a 7-5 lead.

Austin Peay got within a run when catcher Matt Wollenzin [7] hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. The Govs then put the tying run aboard when second baseman Garrett Copeland [8] walked after the home run. However, Eastern Illinois reliever Troy Barton finished the game with a strikeout.

Robles did not factor into the decision after allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings. After allowing an unearned run in the first, he held EIU scoreless for the next five innings until running into trouble in the seventh. Robles also put forth a 2-for-3 outing at the plate, including a three-run triple that gave APSU a 4-1 lead in the second inning.

Center fielder Chase Hamilton [5] went 2-for-5, including his eighth-inning triple, and left fielder Cayce Bredlau [10] went 2-for-2 with two walks to help pace the Govs offense.

Matt Wollenzin [11]APSU reliever A.J. Gaura [12] (0-1) was tagged for the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in the ninth inning.

Eastern Illinois reliever Joe Greenfield (2-1) picked up the wini after allowing one run on two walks in the eighth inning. Barton picked up his season’s second save after striking out two in the ninth. Starting pitcher Matt Borens left with no decision after allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks in seven innings of work.

Taylor, who was 3-for-5, and Howell, who went 2-for-4, each had two RBI to lead the Panthers offense.

After the game, Austin Peay and Eastern Illinois announced a schedule change due to impending weather forecast for Sunday. The teams will now play a doubleheader set to start at 1:00pm, Saturday.

Due to the schedule change, the Austin Peay Baseball Kids Clinic scheduled for Sunday will be rescheduled at a date to be announced.