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Austin Peay Governors Baseball sits in First Place and will square off against Second Place Eastern Kentucky Colonels in key OVC Contest

 

Austin Peay Baseball at Eastern Kentucky

April 20th-22nd, 2012 | Fri: 2:00pm | Sat: 1:00pm | Sun: 12:00pm
Richmond, KY | Turkey Hughes Field (1,000)

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team, which sits atop the Ohio Valley Conference after four weekends, visits second-place Eastern Kentcky for a three-game league set that will prove key for both teams.

The OVC set begins with a 2:00pm (CT), Friday contest at Turkey Hughes Field. The series will continue with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest before concluding at noon, Sunday.

APSU Men's Baseball. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

APSU Men's Baseball. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

Austin Peay began its current six-game road trip with a 10-7 loss at Middle Tennessee, Wednesday. The Govs have not lost an OVC series in 2012, opening the campaign with back-to-back series sweeps of Southeast Missouri and UT Martin before splitting a two-game set at Eastern Illinois and winning a series against Murray State (2-1).

The Govs are 5-4 in their last nine games following a 7-game win streak.

Michael BlanchardIn addition, the Govs have won 12 of their last 18 contests (.667 win percentage) since ending a 3-game losing streak in mid-March. Austin Peay’s offense has scored 8 or more runs in 11 of its last 17 contests (posting a 10-1 record when scoring 8-plus runs during that stretch) and is averaging 8.6 runs and batting .303 during that span.

Senior center fielder Michael Blanchard has sparked the recent stretch with a team-best .417 batting average and a .527 on-base percentage (12 walks) during those 17 games.

Jordan HankinsJunior second baseman Jordan Hankins enters the weekend leading the team in batting average (.316) while sharing the team RBI lead with senior third baseman Greg Bachman, each posting 36 RBI this season. Bachman also leads the team in home runs (8) and Austin Peay enters the week ranked eighth among Division I teams – and second among OVC schools – with 39 home runs.

Game 1 starter sophomore Ryan Quick (2-1, 5.96 ERA in OVC) has given up seven runs in back-to-back outings. Senior Zach Toney (1-0, 2.45 ERA) will make his second straight start in Game 2 after missing weeks 2 and 3 of the OVC schedule. Game 3 starter junior Casey Delgado (1-1, 4.39 ERA) also will look to bounce back from a 7-run outing last week.

About Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky ColonelsThe Colonels saw a pair of midweek contests at Appalachian State washed out due to rain. EKU took 2 of 3 from Eastern Illinois last weekend and also owns a series victories against Southeast Missouri (2-1) and SIU Edwardsville (3-0) after opening OVC play suffering a 1-2 series loss to Jacksonville State, the league’s other second-place squad.

The Colonels are Division I’s top home run squad with 47 home runs in 33 games. Senior shortstop Richie Rodriguez leads the team in average (.373), home runs (11) and RBI (31).

Senior outfielder Jacob Daniel shares the team RBI lead. While the EKU pitching staff enters the weekend with a 5.61 overall ERA, they have stepped up their performance in OVC play, posting a 3.55 staff ERA in league action that ranks second among all teams.

Game 1 starter Matt Harris (2-1, 1.99 ERA in OVC play) and Game 2 starter Shane Grimm (3-0, 2.05 ERA) rank third and fourth, respectively, in OVC-only ERA.  Game 3 starter Brent Cobb is scheduled to make his season’s first start after posting 17 relief appearances totaling 21.1 innings this season.

Long Road Ahead For Governors

Austin Peay will take to the road for the bulk of its remaining schedule. Beginning with Wednesday’s contest at Middle Tennessee, 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.

Cardiac Govs

Cody HudsonThe Govs have five walk-off victories to their credit this season, including three in extra innings. Junior Cody Hudson became the latest walk-off hero with his 10th inning solo blast against Murray State, April 15th. That followed a walk-off leadoff home run by senior first baseman Tyler Childress the day before.

The Govs went 34 days between walk-off winners, senior third baseman Greg Bachman hit a RBI single against Arkansas State in a 10-9, 11-inning victory, March 11th. Sophomore second baseman Jordan Hankins had a game-winning single in the Govs 10-inning victory against Iowa, March 3rd, and junior shortstop Reed Harper belted a walk-off solo home run against Illinois State, February 18th.

Monster Mash vs. Murray State

Austin Peay put together a rare weekend with the long ball against Murray State, April 13th-15th, putting up 12 home runs in the OVC series, including back-to-back five home run outings. It was the Govs highest home run total in an OVC series since 1996.

Eight Governors hitters recorded a home run in the series, including designated hitter Jon Clinard, who hit his first home run (2nd career) since April 3rd, 2010 and center fielder Michael Blanchard, who hit his fourth career home run.

Another Govs OVC Streak Continues

With its three-game series victory against Murray State, April 13th-15th, Austin Peay has not lost an OVC series since the next-to-last weekend of the 2010 regular-season, a streak of 13 consecutive OVC series won or tied.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Date Time (CT) Austin Peay Starter Opponent’s Starter APSU Radio/Internet
Fri. 2:00pm RHP Ryan Quick RHP Matt Harris WVRY 105.1 FM
(RSo., 3-1, 3.82 ERA) (Sr., 4-3, 4.92 ERA) LetsGoPeay.com
Sat. 1:00pm LHP Zach Toney LHP Shane Grimm WVRY 105.1 FM
(Jr., 2-2, 4.20 ERA) (Jr., 4-4, 3.38 ERA) LetsGoPeay.com
Sun. Noon RHP Casey Delgado RHP Brent Cobb WVRY 105.1 FM
(Jr., 4-3, 6.41 ERA) (So., 2-0, 2.95 ERA) LetsGoPeay.com

 


STATISTICAL COMPARISON: GOVERNORS VS. COLONELS
TEAM BA RPG HR RBI SLG OBP SB-A ERA H/9 BB/9 SO/9 BAA FLD
APSU .282 6.7 39 216 .438 .383 45-66 4.82 9.29 4.85 7.45 .270 .967
EKU .276 6.3 47 197 .484 .349 31-44 5.61 10.33 4.10 5.58 .295 .969

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