The APSU Bat Govs were scheduled to take on the Evansville Purple Aces on Tuesday, April 16, but due to threats at Evansville, a doubleheader was played on Wednesday, April 24 at Raymond C. Hand Park between the two teams.
Both games were seven innings rather than nine, which is the first time since 2008 that APSU has played two seven inning games back-to-back.
The Govs (30-12) won both games over the Purple Aces (15-27) by scores of 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.
In game one, APSU got on the board in the first inning as Craig Massoni blasted his eighth home run of the season, a two run shot that scored Jordan Hankins.
Hankins also scored the third run for the Govs as Cody Hudson doubled to left field in the third inning, increasing the lead to 3-0.
Ryan Quick, who earned the win, totaled five strikeouts with no runs allowed in his five and two thirds innings pitched. Tyler Rogers entered the game with two outs in the sixth, but Chris Pearson singled on the second pitch he saw to score Kevin Kaczmarski, narrowing the margin to two runs. The run was charged to Quick’s line.
“We got a little winning streak going on here, knock on wood,” Quick said. “The confidence is starting to come back after that short skid we had.”
Rogers stayed in for the seventh inning, and earned his 15th save of the season, tying the all-time Ohio Valley Conference record for saves in a single season.
Game two got underway roughly thirty minutes following the first, with APSU serving as the visiting team on the scoreboard.
Just like the first game, the Govs struck first with a RBI single by Tommy Hager that brought home Matt Wollenzin, who hit his first career triple the play before.
A solo home run by Hankins in the fourth inning, his seventh of the year, would extend the lead for the Govs to 2-0.
Evansville would get on the board in the fifth with a RBI single by Kaczmarski, scoring Kyle Pollock on the play.
Reed Harper added an insurance run for the APSU bullpen, hitting a sacrifice fly to score Hankins from third base.
In the seventh, Rogers entered the game, striking out two batters before the Purple Aces scored on a throwing error. But the senior ended the game with his third strikeout of the inning, giving the submariner his 16th save of the season and breaking the all-time saves record in a season by a OVC pitcher.
“It feels pretty cool,” Rogers said. “It just means we’ve had a good year and we got a lot of wins.”
“I just have confidence when I’m throwing and feel like they can’t hit me.”
APSU head coach Gary McClure spoke highly of his pitching staff that allowed just three runs in 14 innings played.
“Our pitching did a great job. To put 14 innings together like that mid-week is something we never would have dreamed about last year,”McClure stated. “I just thought all of our guys did a good job of throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count for the most part.”
The Bat Govs will travel to Eastern Kentucky this Friday, April 26 for OVC weekend series that will conclude on Sunday, April 28.