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Clarksville, TN – Starting pitcher Jared Carkuff struck out a career-high 10 batters to lead Austin Peay State University’s baseball team to a 12-3 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Eastern Illinois, Monday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. The Govs completed a sweep of the league-opening three-game set.
Austin Peay pitcher Jared Carkuff strikes out 10 against Eastern Illinois Monday. (APSU Sports Information)
Carkuff (2-2) battled control problems in the first inning, putting the first two batters he faced on base via a base on balls and a hit batsman.
Eastern Illinois made him pay for the free passes when designated hitter Jason Scholl hit a two-run double for a 2-1 lead.
The double sparked Carkuff as he struck out the next two batters to end the first inning – the only inning he struck out the side. Those were the first two of 11 consecutive batters retired by the Govs right-hander.
A fifth-inning walk ended the streak but he struck out two on the next four batters to end the frame. He ended his outing in the sixth by inducing an inning-ending double play.
Carkuff picked up his second win in four starts after holding the Panthers to two runs on three hits and two walks. He recorded 10 strikeouts, topping his previous career best of six strikeouts set against UT Martin last season.
Austin Peay’s (8-5, 3-0 OVC) offense rallied behind their starting pitcher. Shortstop Clayton Smithson‘s two-run single in the second inning put the Govs ahead for good. Left fielder Cayce Bredlau added a RBI single in the inning giving the Govs a 4-2 lead that proved enough.
The Govs would tack on two runs in the third on catcher Caleb Mitchell‘s two-run double. A two-run fifth saw Smithson post another RBI single and center fielder Patrick Massoni add a RBI double for a 8-2 advantage.
Austin Peay would add two more runs in the seventh and ninth innings. Massoni and Bredlau hit back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh. The Govs ninth was helped by a three-base error by the EIU defense that resulted in two runs.
The Govs bullpen wrapped up the outing for Carkuff with relievers Michael Costanzo, Hunter Lindley and Zach Neff allowing one run over the final three innings. It was the punctuation mark on an outstanding weekend by Austin Peay’s relief corps, which combined to hold the Panthers to two runs in its 10.2 innings, striking out 18 batters.
Eastern Illinois (0-9, 0-3 OVC) used six pitchers in the contest. Starter Andy Fisher (0-2) was tagged for the loss after allowing three runs on no hits but walked four of the seven batters he faced in 1.1 innings. Scholl finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBI to pace the Panthers offense.
Austin Peay is scheduled to continue its 10-game homestand when it hosts Indiana State in a 3:00pm, Tuesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay State University Sports Information provides the latest news and updates on the Athletic endeavors of the student-athletes at APSU. Under the direction of Brad Kirtley, the APSU SID’s office consists of Cody Bush, and Colby Wilson. To contact the APSU Sports Information office, contact, 931.221.7561.