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May 18, 2012

Golden Eagle rally comes up short as Austin Peay evens series

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- There was plenty of drama to go around near the tail end of Friday's game between Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay, but it was a double play in the bottom of the eighth and two solo-shots in the top ninth that cemented the Governors 10-7 win.

The Golden Eagles played catch up through most of the game as they found themselves trailing 8-3 after the sixth innings. The Governors opened the game with a three run first inning and added one run in the fourth and two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. TTU in turn, managed to put up a three-spot in the bottom of the third as Chad Hayes and Ben Burgess each drove in a run.

Tech started to claw back into the game in the bottom of the seventh as James Abraham scored on a throwing error to get TTU within four at 8-4.

After a scoreless top of the eighth, the Golden Eagles opened the bottom of the frame with four hits and a hit batter to bring the Golden Eagles within one at 8-7 with runners on the corners and nobody out. Tevis Sherfield drove in the first run with a hit to the second baseman, while Austin Wulf tallied a two-run single to right center.

APSU's closer Tyler Rodgers then entered the game and struck out Abraham to get the first out, before getting Michael Morris to ground into the inning-ending double play to preserve Austin Peay's 8-7 lead.

The Governors then added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth off of solo-shots from Greg Bachman and Matt Wollenzin to increase their lead to 10-7.

Tech was able to get two runners on base with one out in the ninth, but Rodgers held firm as he got the final two outs to complete his 11th save of the season as the Governors rolled to a 10-7 victory.   

APSU starter Casey Delgado (7-4) earned the win as he threw 6.1 innings, while giving four runs, two of which were earned. TTU starter Matthew Shepherd (4-5) took the loss as he gave up six runs in five innings of work.

TTU relievers Garrett Baugh and Seth Lucio finished the game for Tech. Baugh gave up two runs in 0.2 off an inning, before giving way to Lucio, who gave up two runs in 3.1 innings pitched.

Bachman provided the biggest punch for the APSU offense as he tallied two home runs and drove in a game-high five RBIs. Wulf led the Golden Eagle offense with three hits and two runs batted in.

The rubber game of TTU's three-game series is set for Sunday, at 1 p.m.