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Austin Peay Governors Baseball set to begin four game homestead as it faces the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Wednesday

Middle Tennessee vs. Austin Peay Baseball

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 | First Pitch: 6:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Stadium: Raymond C. Hand Park (777)

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team begins a four-game homestand when it hosts in-state rival Middle Tennessee in a 6:00pm, Wednesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park. It will be the 196th all-time meeting between the two teams.

Austin Peay Baseball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

After seeing a 7-game overall win streak come to an end with a mid-week loss to Belmont, Austin Peay extended its OVC winning streak to 7 games with a 17-inning win at Eastern Illinois before seeing the streak end with a 2-1 loss in the series’ second game. Still the Govs have won 10 of their 14 contests since ending a 3-game losing streak in mid-March.

Austin Peay’s offense has scored 8 or more runs in 8 of its last 12 contests and is averaging 8.3 runs and batting .297 during that span. Shortstop Reed Harper has an eight-game hit streak and is batting .383 (23-of-60) during the Govs last 12 games. Center fielder Michael Blanchard leads the team with a .439 batting average with 18 hits in those 12 games. Catcher P.J. Torres (.383) and outfielder Cody Hudson (.320) also are hitting above .300 during the recent 12-game stretch.

On the mound, Austin Peay will turn to senior Andy Cox who will make his season’s third start, but first since a March 27th start against Alabama A&M where he went 4 innings and picked up the victory. Austin Peay was picked to finish first in the OVC’s preseason poll. Four Governors were selected to the league’s preseason team – Toney, Harper, Blanchard and Hankins. Austin Peay returns 7 of its 8 defensive starters from last season.

About Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee Blue RaidersThe Blue Raiders have won five straight, all in Sun Belt Conference action and are tied for 2nd in the league behind Florida Atlantic (10-2). Middle Tennessee’s pitching staff has been the source of their success, posting a 3.61 ERA this season after a 5.85 ERA in 2011. Left-handed junior Jordan Coper will make his season’s fifth start and has pitched 18 innings this season, compiling an 0-2 record and 6.50 ERA.

Offensively, the Blue Raiders are batting .276 this season and averaging 5.4 runs per game, averages that are on par with last season’s totals (.277 and 4.8 runs per game). MTSU has three regulars batting above .300 this season. Sophomore outfielder Trent Miller leads the team in batting average (.361), home runs (8) and RBI (29). Junior second baseman Johnny Thomas also has proven to be a potent threat with a .289 average, 11 doubles, 7 home runs and 25 RBI.

McClure First To Record OVC Victories

Austin Peay Baseball Head Coach Gary McClureAustin Peay head coach Gary McClure became the first head coach to record 300 career wins with the Govs 8-7, 17-inning victory at Eastern Illinois, April 7th.

He also is ranked second among OVC coaches with 731 career victories, 45 behind Murray State’s Johnny Reagan.

Long Road Ahead For Governors

Following its current four-game homestand, Austin Peay will take to the road for the bulk of its remaining schedule. The Govs will play 14 of their final 21 games away from Raymond C. Hand Park.

Last season, APSU played 13 of its final 20 games on the road, posting a 15-5 mark during that final stretch.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Date Time (CT) Austin Peay Starter Opponent’s Starter APSU Radio/Internet
Wed. 6:00pm RHP Andy Cox LHP Jordan Cooper
(Sr., 1-1, 4.66 ERA) (Jr., 0-2, 6.50 ERA)
APSU .277 6.3 27 170 .410 .376 40-57 4.45 4.79 7.67 .256 .968
MTSU .276 5.4 25 153 .400 .339 45-58 3.61 4.40 6.91 .231 .972

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