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APSU Baseball opens OVC Season hosting Tennessee Tech

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team starts the second quarter of its 2019 season when it hosts Tennessee Tech in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series, Friday-Sunday, on Joe and Cathi Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball plays three game series against Tennessee Tech at home this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball plays three game series against Tennessee Tech at home this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors were a streaky team in the first 14 games of 2019, but will look to stabilze their ship during the upcoming 14-game stretch that features eight home games. Austin Peay will look to bounce back from its OVC-opening series loss at Murray State, just five days ago.

Defending OVC regular-season champion Tennessee Tech visits Clarksville after winning its three-game league set against SIU Edwardsville last weekend. The Golden Eagles have won seven of their last eight, the lone loss coming in their OVC-opening contest against SIUE.

First Hacks

Fifteen different Governors have started a game in the season’s first 14 games. Only three players have started all 14 games in 2019: center fielder Garrett Spain, utility man Parker Phillips and shortstop Bobby Head.

Entering this week’s action, Austin Peay has played the nation’s 54th-toughest schedule – and toughest among OVC teams.

The Govs already have faced four teams with 10 or more wins in 2019: Vanderbilt (14), Kentucky (12), Indiana State (12) and Southern Illinois (11).

Senior catcher David Martinez opened the season batting .500 in the season’s first 10 games. He has cooled off slightly recently, but leads the Govs with a .395 batting average that also ranks 16th among Division I catchers.

Center fielder Garrett Spain has reached base in all 14 games as a Governor. Among freshman Division I hitters his .377 batting average ranks 17th and he is second among OVC freshman hitters.

Junior utility man Parker Phillips has reached base safely in 13 of 14 games this season. He hit his fourth home run of 2019 against Lipscomb, March 5th, and is three homers shy of breaking the APSU career record.

Redshirt senior Garrett Kueber made his first start at shortstop, Tuesday, against Southern Illinois and snapped a three-game hitless streak with a single that later saw him score.

Freshman Gino Avros started at third base and batted leadoff at Southern Illinois, Tuesday. He drove in the game’s first run and later scored himself.

Sophomore Bobby Head had a hit in all three games at Murray State and traded places with Kueber at Southern Illinois, making his season’s first start at second base.

Junior Andrew Flaherty has started five of the Govs last six games, getting his first start in left field at Southern Illinois, Tuesday. He is batting .272 (6-for-22) in those five starts.

Freshman designated hitter Matt Joslin has driven in a run with three of his first four hits as a Governor, including a game-tying two-run single at Vanderbilt, Feb. 27.

Sophomore first baseman John McDonald returned to the Govs lineup at Murray State after missing nearly a month due to injury.

Sophomore transfer Griffin Rivers had hits in back-to-back games against Murray State.

Toeing The Rubber

Due to the Sunday start of last weekend’s Murray State series, Austin Peay will modify its weekend pitching rotation.

Redshirt senior lefty Josh Rye will move into the Friday night spot seeking to regain his form from his season’s first two starts where he was 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11 innings.

Senior left-hander Jacques Pucheu slides back to the No. 2 role this weekend. He has had a quality start (6+ IP with less than 3 ER) in three of his first four outings. Pucheu owns an impressive 1.08 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched.

Senior righty Brandon Vial will get the nod in Game 3 after posting his first quality start of 2019 at Murray State. He owns a 4.11 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 15.1 innings in his previous starts.

Austin Peay starting pitchers have combined for a 3-5 record and 4.30 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 69.0 innings pitched (9.04 K/9).

The Governors bullpen has 57 strikeouts in 53.1 innings (9.62 K/9).

APSU vs. Tennessee Tech

Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech have met 179 times previously with the Govs owning a narrow 93-85-1 edge in the series.

Tennessee Tech has swept the Govs in each of the last two series between the teams. The Golden Eagles six-game win streak is their longest in the series since 1983-84.

 

Pitching Matchups

Date Austin Peay Starter Opposing Starter
Fri., 3/15 LHP Josh Rye (1-2, 8.40 ERA) RHP Caleb Morgan (1-2, 6.48 ERA)
Sat., 3/16 LHP Jacques Pucheu (2-0, 1.08 ERA) RHP Mark Leonard (1-0, 2.95 ERA)
Sun., 3/17 RHP Brandon Vial (0-2, 4.02 ERA) RHP Thomas Saliba (2-0, 10.38 ERA)

 


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