MARION, Ill. – Eastern Kentucky University’s baseball team jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but No. 2 seed Austin Peay State University scored eight unanswered and held on to win 9-7 on Thursday at the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Rent One Park in Marion, Illinois.
The No. 6 seed Colonels will face No. 4 seed Belmont in an elimination game at 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The game will air live on ESPN+.
EKU got off to a strong start, bringing all nine batters to the plate in the first inning and chasing Austin Peay starter Josh Rye from the game. Will Johnson started the game with a single through the left side, stole second base and then scored on a single to center by Ryland Kerr. With two on and one out, Daniel Harris IV brought home Kerr with a single to left. Michael Brewer drew a bases loaded, two-out walk to force home the third run of the inning.
The Governors used the long ball to take control. David Martinez hit a two-run shot in the second to make it 3-2. Aaron Campbell hit a three-run dinger with two outs in the third to extend the margin to 6-3 and give APSU the lead for good.
With Austin Peay leading 8-3, the Colonels scored three times in the seventh to get back into the game. With the bases loaded and one out, Brewer doubled to center to score a pair. Charles Ludwick scored later in the inning on a dropped third strike to make it 8-6.
Eastern Kentucky (31-26) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth, but couldn’t bring in the tying runs. The Colonels drew within two again in the ninth, 9-7, on a two-out RBI single by Harris, but left the tying run at first base. EKU stranded 17 runners on base in the game.
Brewer finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Johnson had a 2-for-4 day with a walk and a run scored. A.J. Lewis went 3-for-5 and scored twice.
Parker Phillips was 3-for-4 with two runs for Austin Peay (32-23). Campbell went 3-for-5 with two runs and five RBIs.
“It was a good battle,” EKU Head Coach Edwin Thompson said. “We came out early and kind of established ourselves, but they did a good job of silencing our bats through the middle of the game. They stayed consistent throughout the whole game. We couldn’t get a stop until it was too late and offensively, we just didn’t have enough big hits.”
Fans can get a head start on the 2020 season by placing a non-refundable $40 deposit on season tickets that will be included in the overall price of the package. For questions or to place your deposit, call Alex Harrison at (859) 358-9272 or the EKUSports ticket office at 844-3-GOBIGE.