Austin Peay scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to salvage a two-game series split with K-State, winning 4-2 Wednesday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium. That’s according to a release from K-State Athletics.
K-State (12-9) battled back to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth inning, courtesy of RBI singles from Will Brennan and Jordan Maxson. However, the Austin Peay (14-8) bullpen kept the Wildcats hitless over the final four innings and retired a string of 12 straight batters.
“Credit to them,” head coach Brad Hill said. “They threw strikes today and didn’t make errors today. They looked like a completely different team. They had three or four highlight plays. They made the plays they had to in the ninth. I give [Austin Peay] credit today, they were ready to play. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get the win.”
The Cats had two men aboard with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after Jake Biller reached on an error and Hanz Harker was hit by a pitch but were unable to bring home the tying runs. K-State had just five hits in the game and Harker’s fifth-inning double was the extra-base hit.
K-State was 2-for-11 (.167) with runners on base while Austin Peay hit .368 (7-for-19). No Wildcat hitter had a multi-hit game.
“We weren’t good on the offensive end today,” added Hill. “Not very good at-bats today and not a real good day overall.”
In the top of the first, Austin Peay got three straight two-out singles, the final one from Parker Phillips off starter Caleb Littlejim to open the scoring.
Governors starter Harley Gollert issued three consecutive two-out walks in the bottom of the first, but K-State was unable to bring across the tying run as it stranded all three base runners.
Four straight singles by the Govs to begin the third, highlighted by an RBI single from Kyle Walker, put APU’s lead at two and the bases loaded with nobody out. Littlejim was able to limit the damage to one run after back-to-back Governor runners were thrown out at home and a strikeout ended the threat.
Littlejim lasted 3 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts in a no decision.
K-State’s two-run fifth inning, sparked by Harker’s leadoff double, tied the game. Harker scored on Brennan’s single up the middle and Brennan would later score on Maxson’s single.
Brennan finished 1-for-5 and extended his career-long on-base streak to 44 games.
Wildcat reliever Mitch Zubradt kept the Govs scoreless in the middle innings. The junior right-hander went three full innings and allowed just one hit and one walk with a season-high five strikeouts.
APU’s Max Remy reached on an error to lead off the ninth inning and a single by Brett Newberg followed by a sacrifice bunt by Garrett Giovannelli had two in scoring position with one out. Remy would score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly and Garrett Kueber delivered an RBI single off reliever Jared Marolf for the Govs’ two-run ninth.
Marolf, who entered the game in the ninth, suffered the loss after yielding two unearned runs in his inning of work.
Governors third baseman Malcomb Tipler went 3-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored. Kueber was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
K-State opens its Big 12 schedule on Friday with a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on No. 20 TCU at Lupton Stadium. The series opener is set for 6:30 p.m.