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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Austin Peay Governors
February 15th, 16th, 17th | 3:00pm, 1:00pm, 1:00pm
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team begins the 2013 season when it hosts Big Ten foe Iowa in a three-game series, Friday-Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The Govs return five offensive starters from last season and will feature a retooled pitching staff as only four members of last season’s staff return.Meanwhile the Hawkeyes return seven regulars and six pitchers for the season opener. The two squads have met in four of the last five seasons – all in Clarksville – with Austin Peay holding a 4-2 advantage in those contests.
The Govs won last season’s meeting, but needed 10 innings to post the 4-3 victory.
Governors Quick Hits
Austin Peay posted a 40-24 record last season and won a share of its second straight Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title with a 19-7 league mark. APSU won a second straight OVC Tournament crown despite losing its opening game. The Govs were seeded in the NCAA Tournament’s Eugene Regional and, after a tourney-opening 6-5 loss to host Oregon, APSU shutout both Indiana State and Cal State Fullerton before falling to Oregon in the regional final.
Junior second baseman Jordan Hankins returns as the Govs top offensive threat after batting .336 with 10 home runs and 66 RBI and was named a Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
Hankins also was named the OVC Preseason Co-Player of the Year and was a first-team preseason All-OVC pick.
In addition, senior shortstop Reed Harper (.327/3/36) and senior outfielder Cody Hudson (.300/6/36) were preseason All-OVC selections.
On the mound, only senior Casey Delgado (9-4, 5.59 ERA) returns from last season’s weekend rotation. Delgado finished 2012 with 14 consecutive scoreless innings, including a shutout of Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior transfers Lee Ridenhour and A.J. Gaura will join Delgado in the Govs’ opening weekend rotation. They are part of nine newcomers on the Govs pitching staff (14 total) this season. The Govs will turn to senior closer Tyler Rogers again in 2013 after he posted a school-record 12 saves last season.
The Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa finished 2012 with a 23-27 record and a 10-14 Big Ten mark that was ninth-best in the league. The Hawkeyes lost their top two hitters from last season – Mike McQuillan (.354/1/24) and Phil Keppler (.345/1/22).
Iowa’s top returning hitter is sophomore shortstop Jacob Yacinich who batted .292 with 24 RBI. Iowa also lost its top power threat in Chett Zeise, who had 4 home runs and 25 RBI last season. No returning player had more than one home run last season.
The Hawkeyes will be seeking a solution at closer following the departure of Nick Brown, who led the team with seven saves. Senior Andrew Hanse and sophomores Nick Hibbing and Taylor Kaufman were in the preseason mix to land the closer’s role.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Series: APSU leads, 4-3 | Streak: APSU, two wins
Live Stats: www.LetsGoPeay.com
TopicsA.J. Gaura, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Baseball, APSU Men's Baseball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Cal State Fullerton, Casey Delgado, Clarksville TN, Cody Hudson, Governors, Govs, Hawkeyes, Indiana State, Iowa, Jordan Hankins, Lee Ridenhour, NCAA tournament, Ohio Valley Conference, Oregon, OVC, OVC Tournament, Raymond C. Hand Park, Reed Harper, Tyler Rogers
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