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Instant Peay Play: Youthful APSU Governors baseball team ready to begin 2014 season

Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – After losing six starters off of last year’s three-time defending Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship team, Austin Peay State University will welcome 17 new faces to the 2014 roster – including 13 freshmen – as they look to defend its title.

In the 2014 OVC preseason poll, the APSU Governors Baseball was picked to finsih 2nd. (Lisa Kemmer)
In the 2014 OVC preseason poll, the APSU Governors Baseball was picked to finsih 2nd. (Lisa Kemmer)

Still with all the new faces on this year’s roster, head coach Gary McClure – now in his 26th season at the helm – is excited about his experienced pitching staff that will have to carry the team early on until the newcomers get settled in.

“I feel good about our club,” he said. “I like our athleticism, our speed and our over overall talent. We’re very, very talented position player wise, but I also like the depth with our pitching staff; especially our front end starters. I think we have some maturity there and some experience, and that’s a good thing.”

Among those front ends starters returning are Zach Hall (8-2, 4.53 ERA), A.J. Gaura (1-1, 3.21 ERA) and Ryan Quick (5-2 (5.65 ERA).

“We’re going to be more experienced on the mound, but position player wise we’re going to be much less experienced,” McClure said. “But we will have three seniors that are probably going to be in the line up every day and they’re going to be playing with a lot of freshmen, so they’re just going to have to help bring those guys along.”

The three position player seniors are outfielder Rolando Gautier, infielder Kevin Corey and catcher P.J. Torres.

“We don’t totally know how we’re going to react went we face another team offensively with so many young players in the lineup, McClure said. “We feel like to have some weapons for sure, but we don’t know how we’re going to react and how we’re going to adjust once scouting reports start to get out.

“The thing I do like about our position players is they’re all very good baseball players and they’re very talented. The young guys have good baseball sense as well. Probably some so than any group we’ve ever had, which is huge because we’re going to be playing a lot of them in the lineup.”

Even with the team counting on many new, young faces, McClure knows no one will be feeling sorry for them and they still expect to do well.

“The one thing I know is our guys expect to win,” he said. “They have rally high expectations every year and it’s kind of gotten to the point where it’s expected by the guys that have already been here and the new guys come in and expect it, because they know what we’re done in the past.

“With our personnel we have a chance truthfully to be as good as – if not better – than we’ve been the last few of years, but it’s going to be interesting. This group reminds me of the 2011 season when we had a lot of freshmen in the lineup and I think this group is more talented, but it all comes down to proving it on the field.”

Austin Peay opens its 2014 season at Raymond C. Hand Park February 14th versus the University of Iowa.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.

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