Bulldog Miscues Lift APSU To 7-5 Win

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Austin Peay (32-17) took advantage of three Bulldog errors and a wild pitch during a four-run uprising that lifted the Governors to a 7-5 win over No. 13 Mississippi State (31-14) Wednesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park. The win gave APSU a sweep of the two-game series.

Four Bulldog errors resulted in four unearned runs by APSU. The Bulldogs out-hit the Governors 11-10 and stranded 13 base-runners.

Jeff Lykens (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Stephen Huff, while Matt Kole retired the six batters he faced over the final two frames to earn his first save.

Freshman Greg Houston (1-1) took the loss in relief of starter Jesse Carver, who worked the first three innings. Carver gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits over three innings. Houston was charged with three unearned runs on four hits. Mike Valentine, Ricky Bowen and Mitch Moreland combined for six strikeouts and six of MSU's 11 strikeouts over 2-2/3 innings of relief.

"We made three errors on one play, and that turned out to be the ball game," said coach Ron Polk, "I'm disappointed, but Austin Peay pitched us fairly well. They've got a nice ball club and have won 10 straight now."

Mitch Moreland gave Mississippi State an early 2-0 lead with his seventh home run of the season. Jeffrey Rea opened the game with a single and scored ahead of Moreland's two-out blast.

APSU cut into the lead with a run in the second inning. Tyler Bullock drew an inning-opening walk, advanced on a wild pitch and scored when J.B. Gilbert's grounder to third base was misplayed.

State added two runs to take a 4-1 lead in the third. Edward Easley singled sharply off the third baseman's glove, Brian LaNinfa drew a one-out walk, both runners advanced on an infield groundout and scored when Connor Powers laced a two-out single to center field.

The Governors matched the Bulldogs with two runs in the bottom of the third. Rafael Hill doubled to open the inning and trotted home on Tyler Farrar's fifth home run of the year.

State loaded the bases in the fourth when Rea singled and both Mitch Moreland and Brian LaNinfa drew two-out walks. Relief pitcher Jeff Lykens, who issued the second walk, got out of the jam when Joseph McCaskill's line drive was snared in right field.

The Governors took control of the game with a four-run fourth inning spurt that included a double, two singles, a wild pitch and three Bulldog errors. Matt Smith began the spree with a double to the center field wall. The hit ended Bulldog starter Jesse Carver's stay in the game and brought freshman Greg Houston to the hill. Gilbert then advanced Smith with a sacrifice bunt and Levi Cheshire followed with a single to left that scored Smith and tied the score at 4-4.

Jacob Crass kept the inning going, reaching with a two-out single to left. Houston appeared to have worked out of the jam with no further damage when Farrar hit a ground ball to third base. But the ball was misplayed by Powers. The ball bounded into the outfield where a bobble by left fielder Joseph McCaskill followed by a subsequent mishandling of a throw at third base enabled two runs to score and put Farrar at third base. Farrar then scored on a wild pitch to put APSU on top 7-4.

State parlayed three walks and a single by Brandon Turner into a single run in the sixth inning. But Governor relief pitcher Jeff Lykins, who entered the game in the fourth inning, got Connor Powers to ground out to get out of the bases-loaded jam.

Freshman Brandon Turner returned to the MSU starting lineup, opening the game at second base after missing five starts. Turner and Jeffrey Rea had two hits each to lead MSU's 11-hit attack. All nine starters in the Bulldog batting order had hits.

Jacob Crass went 3-for-5 and Tyler Farrar had two hits to pace APSU at the plate.

Mississippi State continues its current five-game road run in Athens, Ga., Friday when State takes on the UG Bulldogs in a 6 p.m. CDT game at Foley Field.

Gene's Page Top Stories