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Govs, Redhawks meet in battle between OVC’s top teams

 

APSU Men’s Baseball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team, sitting atop the Ohio Valley Conference, hosts second-place Southeast Missouri in a three-game league set, Saturday and Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park. The three-game set begins with a 1:00pm, Saturday doubleheader followed by a 1:00pm, Sunday contest.

Austin Peay (25-20, 13-4 OVC) enters the pivotal weekend series with a 2½-game lead over Southeast Missouri (28-17, 10-6 OVC). That lead gives the Govs their first opportunity to clinch the regular-season crown this weekend. Austin Peay would need to win two games this weekend with losses by both Jacksonville State, which hosts Eastern Kentucky, and UT Martin, which travels to Tennessee Tech, to clinch its seventh regular-season title.

APSU Men's Baseball, Clarksville TN.

APSU Men's Baseball, Clarksville TN.

The Govs enter the weekend having won their last seven OVC contests, including three-game sweeps of Tennessee Tech and Morehead State in their last two weekend outings. However, the Govs saw a seven-game overall win streak stopped by an 8-3 non-conference loss at Evansville, Wednesday.

Austin Peay has been on a tear since April 1st, posting a 15-8 overall mark and 12-3 conference mark. The Govs offense has led the charge, batting an impressive .344 in those 23 games and averaging 8.4 runs per game. Freshman catcher Matt Wollenzin (.462, 15 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Reed Harper (.449, 24 RBI) have been particularly impressive in the season’s second half.

Jordan HankinsFreshman second baseman Jordan Hankins has rediscovered his touch at the plate and continues to put his name at the forefront of the “Freshman of the Year” conversation with a team-best .370 batting average this season. Harper, the reigning OVC Player of the Week, has used his 23-game hit streak to move into second overall with a .351 batting average. Sophomore first baseman John Hogan leads the league with 46 RBI and also has eight home runs this season.

The nation’s only southpaw-only weekend rotation will take its eighth consecutive turn against Southeast Missouri. Junior left-hander Jeremy Dobbs (8-2) will again get the nod in the opener  and will be followed by senior southpaw Jack Snodgrass (2-5). Junior lefty Zach Toney (4-2) will wrap up the weekend’s action. That trio leads a Govs weekend pitching staff that has posted a league-leading 4.11 ERA in OVC action this season.

Jeremy DobbsSoutheast Missouri visits Hand Park for its first action in 10 days. The Redhawks’ last action saw them split a pair of midweek at nationally-ranked Arkansas, May 3th-4th. Southeast Missouri has remained in the thick of the OVC regular-season race with six wins in its last eight OVC contests, including a 2-1 series victory at Murray State, April 30th-May 1st.

The Redhawks offense leads the OVC with a .312 batting average this season, five points better than Austin Peay’s .307 mark that ranks second. However, it’s the Govs who lead the way in OVC play with a .340 average that benefited from a trip to Morehead State while Southeast Missouri’s .326 batting average in OVC play ranks fourth.

Senior third baseman Trenton Moses leads the Redhawks offense with a .381 batting average that ranks fourth among OVC hitters, including a .389 average in OVC play. Senior outfielder Michael Adamson also have proven to be a threat with 64 hits and a league-leading 49 runs scored this season.

Jack SnodgrassEach member of Southeast Missouri’s senior-laden weekend rotation is ranked among the league’s top 10 in ERA entering the weekend. Senior left-hander Jordan Underwood (4-0) has not tasted defeat this season and has a 4.71 ERA (9th in OVC) entering his series-opening start. Senior right-hander Jon Dicus (3-4) will get the nod in Game 2 and is just behind Underwood with a nearly identical 4.71 ERA. But it is senior right-hander Brad LaBruyere (7-1) who sports the most impressive ERA, ranking third among league pitchers with a 3.60 mark and will start Sunday’s finale.


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