Austin Peay and Murray State renewed their rivalry dating back to 1963 as the Govs traveled to Reagan Field for a three-game conference series on Thursday, March 28, through Saturday, March 30 against the Thoroughbreds.
The Govs (22-5, 7-1) would go on to sweep Murray State (12-15, 6-6) in the series, it’s first over the Thoroughbreds since 1992.
However, the three wins would not come easy, starting on Thursday, March 28, against Murray State pitcher Cameron Finch, who recorded a no hitter in his last appearance against SIU Edwardsville.
Game one was a closely contested game throughout, with extra innings needed to settle the score. The Govs would earn the win behind starting pitcher Lee Ridenhour, who pitched nine innings, totaling 123 pitches, and a career-high nine strikeouts.
Craig Massoni tied the game 3-3 in the eighth with a two-run homer, which forced the game to go to extra innings. In the top of the twelfth, P.J. Torres led off with a single and was brought home with a sacrifice fly by center fielder Dylan Riner, giving the Govs the lead 4-3. Closer Tyler Rogers sealed the deal in the bottom of the inning with a game-ending double play.
In game two of the series on Friday, March 29, APSU pulled out front with a comfortable lead, and didn’t look back to win 10-3.
After totaling a career-high nine strikeouts against Jacksonville State last Friday, Casey Delgado came back a week later to set a new high in strikeouts with 10. The Gov’s pitching staff, which also consisted of Tommy Hager and Jared Carkuff, allowed just four hits, which were all on Delgado.
Offensively, Torres hit a three-run home run in the second inning to put the Govs on the board, then added onto their lead after a seven run fifth inning, which was capped off with a three-run blast by Reed Harper.
Head coach Gary McClure turned to Ryan Quick, who has primarily been used as a bullpen arm, to go for the sweep against the Thoroughbreds on Saturday, March 30. Quick would earn the win, with the help of Kacy Kemmer, Hunter Lindley, and Rogers, who picked up his tenth save of the season.
The middle infielders, Harper, who reached base in all five plate appearances, and Jordan Hankins, three for five, led the way for the Govs with two RBIs a piece.
APSU will return to Raymond C. Hand Park on Tuesday, April 2, to host Lipscomb, then after a trip to Western Kentucky the following day, preps for a three-game OVC series against Tennessee Tech over the weekend.