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Govs begin homestand as Blue Raiders visit

APSU Men’s Baseball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team begins a five-game home stand when it hosts long-time rival Middle Tennessee in a 6:00pm, Wednesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.

The Govs begin a two-week stretch where they will play 10 of their next 11 games at home. It will be the best chance for Govs fans to catch the team as they will close the regular-season schedule playing 17 of their final 25 games – spanning the final 35 days – on the road.

Junior Zach Toney will start Wednesday's contest against Middle Tennessee. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)
Junior Zach Toney will start Wednesday's contest against Middle Tennessee. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

Austin Peay is still seeking to bounce out of its recent doldrums where it has won just three times in the last 11 games, including a 2-5 mark during their recently completed seven-game road trip.  The Govs offense has suffered during that stretch, averaging just three runs per game and posting a .221 batting average. Meanwhile, APSU’s pitching staff continues to hold steady with a 5.16 ERA and the defense has maintained an impressive .972 fielding percentage (11 errors).

Rolando GautierIndividually, freshman outfielder Rolando Gautier has 13 hits in the last 11 games, but saw his 18-game hit streak stopped in the OVC opener at Murray State, Sunday. He rebounded with a hit in the day’s second game and has reached base safely in 20 consecutive games. Sophomore shortstop Reed Harper has 10 hits in the Govs last 11 games.

Junior Zach Toney will start Wednesday’s contest after seeing his scheduled start at Murray State wiped out due to rain. He has not pitched since a March 19 start at Illinois State where he suffered his season’s second loss. However the bulk of the Governors bullpen will likely make an appearance in the midweek contest after only four pitchers saw the mound over the weekend.

Zach ToneyMiddle Tennessee enters the week amid a rare six-game skid. The Blue Raiders will get a chance to end the skid with a Tuesday afternoon contest at Lipscomb before visiting Clarksville, Wednesday.

Wednesday’s contest will be the 194th meeting between the two programs who are separated by 75 miles of Interstate 24. The Govs won both meetings last season, the first time they won consecutive games against the Blue Raiders since the 1997 campaign.

Notes From The Weekend

Greg BachmanAustin Peay split a Sunday doubleheader (5-2 and 2-3) at Murray State in its Ohio Valley Conference-opening weekend. The three-game series was shortened to a pair of seven-inning contests after Saturday’s scheduled contests were rained out. The Govs won the league opener – their third road win this season – by a 5-2 margin. Junior third baseman Greg Bachman’s RBI single in the fourth inning proved to be the game winner. Junior designated hitter Tyler Childress hit his first home run as a Governor, a fourth-inning, two-run blast that provided insurance. Junior Jeremy Dobbs won his third consecutive start, limiting the ‘Breds to two runs over 5.1 innings. Senior pitcher Ryne Harper, who recently moved into the closers role, picked up his season’s second save in the contest.

Chuck EdlinThe Govs offense was handcuffed in the second game, scoring just two runs on six hits. APSU was just 1-for-7 with a runner in scoring position in the second game. Junior center fielder Michael Blanchard and first baseman John Hogan each had sacrifice flies to account for the Govs scoring. Senior pitcher Jack Snodgrass suffered his season’s shortest start, lasting just 3.2 innings and allowing three runs on two hits. Junior reliever Chuck Edlin tossed 2.1 scoreless innings to wrap up the second game and tossed three scoreless innings in the doubleheader.

Coming Up: Eastern Illinois

Austin Peay hosts Eastern Illinois in its second Ohio Valley Conference weekend. The Govs lost last season’s series with the Panthers in Charleston, IL, dropping both ends of the Saturday doubleheader, 2-0 and 3-4, before rallying to win the finale, 18-6. It will be the first time the two teams have met in Clarksville since the 2007 season – a three-game series APSU swept – as the 2009 series was wiped out due to rain.


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