Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team looked like it was a lock to return to the postseason three weeks ago, after coming up short last season, but a recent slide in OVC play has pushed the Govs to the brink of missing the OVC tournament for the second straight year.
After taking two of three games versus Belmont back on April 10th through 12th, the Governors had an 11-7 record in OVC play and what looked like a secure spot in the tournament field.But three straight weeks of going 1-2 versus Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State and Tennessee Martin have dropped the Govs record to 14-13 in conference play – 23-23 overall – and on the outside looking in on making the postseason.
The Govs could be in even direr straights if not for the pitching of Alex Robles in conference play, with the sophomore being the only Gov to pick up a win in OVC play the last three series, and 6-0 overall in his last six OVC starts.
Just how big of a different has Robles’ pitching been over the other Governors pitching the past three weekends.
Robles has averaged over seven innings per start – including a nine-innings complete game this past weekend versus Tennessee Martin – giving up 6.7 hits and 3.3 runs per game over that three-game span.
In the other six OVC games the past three weekends, the Govs pitching staff has giving up an average of 10.5 hits and 9.5 runs per game – all losses.
That’s a staggering difference of 6.2 runs per game and almost three hits.
But with only two weeks left in the regular season — and only one OVC weekend left for the Governors, with a non-conference weekend to closeout things for APSU – Austin Peay needs for Robles to stay hot, have some of the other pitchers step up against Southern Illinois Edwardsville next weekend and have some help with Belmont, Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech just ahead of the Governors in the standings.
A once promising chance to return to the postseason for Austin Peay now needs help, or it will be a second straight season of coming up short of a spot in the OVC tournament – something that hasn’t happened since 2009-10.