June 3, 2011
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Regional Scores & Schedules
Austin Peay Trips Tech
By Sean Ryan
years ago, Austin Peay battled David Price and Vanderbilt tooth
and nail on the opening day of the Nashville Regional. The
Governors fell 2-1 in 11 innings.
Friday night at the Atlanta Regional,
fourth-seeded Austin Peay used a fantastic start from Jack
Snodgrass and a late homer from freshman Jordan Hankins to shock
top-seeded Georgia Tech 2-1 at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“This is the biggest win our program’s ever had,”
coach Gary McClure said over the phone after the win.
“Absolutely. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that.”
Ace Jeremy Dobbs was expected to start against
the Yellow Jackets, who now find themselves one loss away from
not advancing from the Atlanta Regional for the third straight
year. But McClure made a late call to Snodgrass, who entered
with a 3-6 record.
“It was just a gut feeling that I had,” he said.
“I tried to not do it, I didn’t want to outsmart myself, but I
went with my gut.”
Snodgrass didn’t disappoint. The lefty worked
seven innings with one earned run, three walks and three
strikeouts. McClure said Snodgrass was able to use his
mid-to-upper 80s fastball on the outer half and mix in some
changes and curves in fastball counts early in the game. When
the Yellow Jackets made adjustments, Snodgrass worked inside and
Tied at 1 in the seventh, Hankins – one of four
freshmen in a starting lineup that also included three
sophomores – hit just his fourth homer of the season off Matt
Grimes, who allowed three hits and two earned runs with eight
strikeouts in 6.2 solid innings of relief. Grimes entered for
Jackets ace Mark Pope, who left in the second inning with an
Mark Hebert relieved Snodgrass and got two outs
in the eighth before hitting a batter. Lefty Zach Toney, the
Governors’ third starter, escaped the eighth then struck out the
side in the ninth for his second save.
“These guys have just been so professional,”
McClure said. “They’ve approached conference games and the
tournament in such a professional, business-like way.”
McClure said that he and his staff haven’t talked
much about that Vanderbilt loss five years ago to inspire their
team. But he admitted his young team is aware that Austin Peay
nearly shocked the college baseball world before.
“It’s something that all the kids on this team
were talked to about when they were recruited here,” said
McClure, who has won 712 games in 24 years at the Clarksville,
Tenn., school. “We’re trying to get you here to win a Regional.”
The Governors (34-22) took a major step toward
that goal Friday night. They will meet Mississippi State
Saturday in the winners’ bracket final, while the Yellow Jackets
(40-20) will square off against Southern Miss.
(photo by Craig Jackson)