APSU Sports Information
Murfreesboro, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team grabbed an early lead but could not hold off a late Middle Tennessee charge in a 10-4 nonconference loss, Tuesday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Austin Peay (23-18) saw starting pitcher Josh Rye  set the tone early, providing four scoreless innings to start the game, striking out three of the 15 batters he faced in the scoreless start.
The Governors offense backed up Rye early, striking for a run in the first inning after loading the bases with two out.
Austin Peay would add to its lead in the fifth, again loading the bases but with one out. A passed ball allowed a run to score and left fielder Kyle Wilson  and catcher Alex Sala  each drove in a run, extending the Govs lead to 4-0.
Rye would return to the mound with that lead and retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth. However, he would surrender a run after allowing back-to-back doubles that ended his outing. Reliever Ethan Clark would end the threat by striking out the first batter he faced.
Middle Tennessee (21-20-1) would keep plugging away, the fifth-inning run being the first of 10 unanswered runs it would score. The Blue Raiders would tie the game, 4-4, on second baseman Ryan Kemp’s two-run single in the seventh.
But it was the eighth inning that turned the tide for good, the Blue Raiders scoring six runs in the frame. Two runs would score when the Govs defense committed an error on a sacrifice bunt, breaking the tie. After a Kemp sacrifice fly added a run, first baseman Aaron Aucker broke the game open with a three-run home run.
Clark (0-1) would suffer the loss after allowing three runs in two innings of work, allowing two hits and two walks. Rye was left with no decision despite holding MTSU to one run in his 4.2 innings of work, striking out four.
Sala finished the night with two RBI despite not recording a base hit, driving in runs with a first-inning walk and a fifth-inning sacrifice fly. First baseman Parker Phillips  had two hits as the Govs were held to five hits.
Kemp and Aucker each had three RBI to lead Middle Tennessee. Shortstop LA Woodward posted a 3-for-4 outing to pace an 11-hit outing by the Blue Raiders. Reliever Tyler Holcombe (4-3) picked up the win with three scoreless innings of relief.
Up Next for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay begins a four-game homestand when it hosts UT Martin in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series. The weekend set is slated to begin with a 6:00pm, Friday contest that will feature post-game fireworks presented by Fuse Fireworks. In addition, fans in attendance will be able to win four tickets to an Atlanta Braves game courtesy Coca-Cola, the game sponsor for Friday’s contest.