GREENVILLE, S.C. – With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, AJ Priaulx doubled in to the left center gap to score Brett Auckland from third and give Presbyterian College the walk-off victory, 3-2, over UT Martin on Friday afternoon at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. The Blue Hose improve to 6-5 on the season, while the Skyhawks drop to 5-2 on the year.
How It Happened
In the bottom of the ninth, Auckland doubled inside the bag at third and put on a runner on second with no outs. Tyler Weyenberg moved him to third with one out with a sacrifice bunt, forcing UT Martin to intentionally walk Cletis Avery to put runners on the corners. Priaulx then delivered on the second pitch of the at-bat with a gapper to left center to plate Auckland and give PC its second walk-off win in a week.
The Blue Hose got on the board first with a run in the second inning. TJ Richardson started the frame with a double to left center and moved to third on a bunt single by Nick Guimbarda. Glen Casaceli then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Richardson and give PC the early 1-0 lead.
PC would add to the lead with a run in the fifth, coming with two outs. Cletis Avery took a ball to the back to put a runner aboard. AJ Priaulx then drove a ball deep in to the right center gap for an RBI triple, scoring Avery from first and extending the lead to 2-0.
PC starter Brian Kehner was dealing through the middle innings, retiring 13 straight batters between the third and seventh innings. He struck out at least one batter in each of his 7.0 full innings, including striking out the side in the fifth and seventh frames.
UT Martin was finally able to break through against him in the seventh. A one-out single by Tyler Albright put a man on and Tanner Wessling followed two batters later with an RBI double to cut the PC advantage to 2-1.
The Skyhawks were able to tie the game in the eighth with an inside the park home run off the bat of Creighton Eldridge. Eldridge drove a ball in to the right center gap that fell just beyond the reach of the PC outfielders and bounced off the wall and away from both fielders, allowing him to make his away all the way around the bases.
PC then answered with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth for its fifth one-run victory of the season.
Pitchers of Record
Ryan Hedrick (1-2) earned his first victory of the season in relief, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings and allowing a pair of hits with three strikeouts against no walks. He shut down the Skyhawks in the final two innings to lead PC to the victory.
Alex Evans (1-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing a run on two hits with an intentional walk in just 0.1 inning of work.
Player of the Game
Brian Kehner was outstanding on the afternoon, tossing 7.0 innings and allowing two runs on four hits with a season-high 12 strikeouts against a lone walk. He totaled 65 strikes in his 94 pitches on the afternoon, while throwing 22 first-pitch strikes to his 24 batters faced. The senior lefty retired 13 straight batters at one point and didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until the seventh.
- AJ Priaulx had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs. He improved his average to a team-high .353 on the season with the pair of extra-base hits.
- Today’s game was PC’s seventh one-run game of the season with the Blue Hose improving to 5-2 in those games. Each of its last four games have been decided by just a lone run.
The Blue Hose return to action on Saturday in game two of the First Pitch Invitational, taking on Michigan State at noon at Furman’s Latham Stadium.