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OVC Tourney: Govs knocked into elimination game

APSU Athletics Communications

By Cody Bush

APSU Athletics Communications

OXFORD, Ala. – Third baseman Alex Robles went 4-for-4 and left fielder Cayce Bredlau hit a game-tying home run, but Austin Peay could not halt a late Morehead State charge and fell, 9-4, in Game 4 of the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship, Wednesday, at Choccolocco Park.

Austin Peay (27-29), the seventh seed, suffered its first loss in the tournament and now will face No. 4 seed Jacksonville State in a 9 a.m., Thursday elimination contest.

The Governors rallied from an early three-run deficit with a three-run burst of their own. Austin Peay got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Bredlau walked with two out, catcher Parker Phillips singled and Robles followed with another single to drive in the run.

Two innings later, Bredlau would tie the game with his season’s ninth home run – a two-run blast that brought home shortstop Garrett Giovannelli, who walked to start the frame. Robles would single with two out and steal second base, but was left stranded.

Morehead State (35-21), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, responded in its half of the sixth inning. They manufactured a run to start the frame with catcher Hunter Fain’s RBI single driving in second baseman Braxton Morris, who singled to start the frame. The Eagles then tacked on their second home run of the night with center fielder Ryan Kent’s two-run shot for another three-run, 6-3, advantage.

The Eagles would extend their lead with a third home run in the seventh. First baseman Tyler Niemann’s two-run blast giving Morehead State an 8-3 advantage.

Austin Peay would scratch out a final run in the ninth inning when Robles singled to start the inning and then was awarded two bases on a throw over the Morehead State dugout. He would scamper home on right fielder Chase Hamilton‘s deep sacrifice fly to end the night’s scoring.

Robles’ put together four singles in his 4-for-4 outing, including his RBI single in the fourth. Bredlau went 1-for-3 with two RBI, walked and scored twice.

Austin Peay starter Zach Neff (1-3) held Morehead State to three runs through five innings, but left the game leaving a runner on base just prior to the Eagles sixth-inning home run. He was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out five batters in 5.1 innings.

Morehead State starter Aaron Leasher (9-3) overcame the Govs burst in the middle of the contest to record the win. He struck out nine of the 28 batters he faced and held Austin Peay to three runs on seven hits over his seven innings of work.

Morris, Niemann, Fain and Kent – the bottom four batters in the Eagles order – combined to go 8-for-14 at the plate with six RBI. Morris ended the night 3-for-4, Niemann was 2-for-2 with a walk, Fain went 2-for-4 and Kent had two RBI as part of his 1-for-4 outing.