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Austin Peay State University baseball team visits Eastern Kentucky in key OVC series

Austin Peay State University Governors SportsRichmond, KY – Riding a four-game win streak, Austin Peay’s baseball team will hit the road for a critical Ohio Valley Conference series at Eastern Kentucky which will begin with a 2:00pm (CDT), Friday contest at Turkey Hughes Field. The Govs are seeking to keep pace with OVC leading Belmont and Jacksonville State which sit 2½ games ahead of the Govs with four weeks remaining.

Austin Peay Men's Baseball
Austin Peay Men’s Baseball

Austin Peay brings a four-game win streak into the series with Eastern Kentucky following a doubleheader sweep of Evansville, Wednesday. The Colonels sit sixth in the OVC race and have won eight of their last nine OVC outings, including a three-game sweep at SIU Edwardsville, last weekend. EKU ended that five-game road trip with a loss at nationally-ranked Indiana, Tuesday.

Eastern Kentucky has climbed the ladder in OVC play in the last three weeks. Entering April, EKU had a 2-7 record and was ninth in the league race. The Colonels have posted an 8-1 OVC record in April – with series sweeps at Morehead State and SIUE and a 2-1 series win against UT Martin – and stand in sixth place with a 10-8 record, three games ahead of Morehead State. The Colonels offense has carried the load with a .314 batting average (.284 overall) in OVC play and has averaged 8.6 runs per game. That run total includes two 30-run outings in league action – EKU is averaging just 5.9 runs per game in its other 16 league outings.

Junior catcher Sean Hagen leads EKU with a .353 batting average (7th in OVC). Senior right fielder Shaun Ball had a team-best eight home runs (t-5th in OVC). Senior center fielder Austin Grisham leads the league with 18 stolen bases (21 attempts). Junior Brent Cobb starts Friday with a win in each of his last three starts and holding opponents to a 3.27 ERA and .256 batting average in those three outings. Sophomore Ben Gullo, the Colonels’ Game 2 starter, is among the OVC leaders in ERA (3.80, 9th), opponent’s batting average (.232, 3rd) and batters struck out looking (17, 4th). Senior Shane Grimm will take the mound in Game 3 one week after a complete-game victory against SIUE.

Eastern Kentucky leads the overall series, which dates back to 1979, by a 47-41 margin… EKU has a 23-19 advantage at Turkey Hughes Field. APSU won the OVC series in Richmond last season, its first OVC series victory at EKU since 2003 – they are 5-9 at EKU since that 2003 set. APSU has won four of the last six meetings in the series, five of the games being decided by three runs or less.

After reaching the season’s halfway mark with a 23-5 record, Austin Peay has struggled during the second half’s opening weeks, posting a 7-7 record. APSU enters the weekend fourth in the OVC race with a 11-6 league mark, 2½ games behind co-leaders Belmont and Jacksonville State (14-4), which are followed by Tennessee Tech (16-5).

Closer Tyler Rogers, who already owns both the APSU single-season and career saves marks, became the OVC’s single-season saves record holder, Wednesday, with a saves in each game of the Evansville doubleheader. They were his 15th and 16th saves this season, moving him past Jacksonville State’s Todd Hornsby who set the mark with 15 saves last season. Rogers now turns his attention to the OVC career saves mark held by Hornsby who recorded 32 saves (2010-12).

The Wednesday, May 1st contest against Middle Tennessee has been removed from the Govs schedule due to a possible scheduling conflict. An announcement will be made next week regarding that game, a replacement contest or its cancellation.

Just The Facts

Radio: Governors Sports Network
Online Audio: www.LetsGoPeay.com
Twitter: @APSUBaseball

Austin Peay Starter
Opponent Starter
2 p.m.
RHP Lee Ridenhour (RJr., 6-1, 2.37 ERA)
RHP Brent Cobb (Jr., 4-5, 4.12 ERA)
1 p.m.
RHP Casey Delgado (Sr., 6-2, 4.45 ERA)
RHP Ben Gullo (So., 2-2, 3.80 ERA)
LHP Zach Hall (Jr., 4-2, 6.56 ERA)
LHP Shane Grimm (Sr., 4-4, 5.54 ERA)

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