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APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Seeking an end to its three-game losing streak, Austin Peay State University’s baseball team continues its six-game road trip with a three-game series at Mercer, Friday-Sunday, at Claude Smith Field in Macon, Georgia.The Governors opened the road trip with a late-inning 3-2 loss at Kentucky, Wednesday. Austin Peay held the Wildcats to one run through seven innings but surrendered two runs in the eighth, the first loss suffered by APSU’s bullpen this season.
Austin Peay’s offense was at its most patient in Lexington, earning a season-high eight walks – one-fourth of their season total. In addition, they fell to strikeouts a season-low five times on the day. Yet, APSU couldn’t convert their opportunities for a second-straight outing, recording just one hit with a runner in scoring position.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s action, the Govs will return to their opening-weekend rotation with right-hander Alex Robles taking the mound for Game 1. Left-hander Michael Costanzo, who has dazzled in his season’s first two outings, will take up Game 2 duties. Improving lefty Zach Neff will looking to keep taking steps forward in his Game 3 start.
At the plate, Austin Peay has proved a formidable foe with at least seven hits and two extra base hits in every game this season. The Govs have a home run in seven games and have 23 doubles in eight games this season.
First baseman Dre Gleason has led the charge recently, posting 15 hits and 14 RBI during his current six-game hit streak.
This weekend’s trip to Macon, will provide the first meeting between Austin Peay and Mercer on the baseball diamond.
There are Austin Peay ties residing in Macon with former Govs women’s basketball coach Susie Gardner and men’s golf coach Kirk Kayden currently coaching for the Bears.
Junior second baseman Garrett Copeland has reached base safely in 40 consecutive games, the third-longest such streak by a Governors hitter since 1996 (APSU record is 48 games). Junior first baseman Dre Gleason has 15 hits (.600 BA) and 14 RBI during his 6-game hit streak.
Junior third baseman Logan Gray was a Third-Team Preseason All-America selection by D1Baseball.com and has opened 2016 with a .357 batting average, 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 walks (.514 OBP) in 8 games. Senior shortstop Clayton Smithson has seen 4 of his 7 base hits go for extra bases (.727 SLG), including 2 home runs.
Junior left fielder Cayce Bredlau has a hit in 7 of his first 8 games and an extra-base hit in 6 of those contests. After two weekends the Govs have platoon situations at three positions: catcher, right field and center field.
Center field has been manned by senior Patrick Massoni, the returning starter at the position, and sophomore Imani Willis. Junior Josh Wilson, the returning starter in right field, has shared starts with Smith and senior Kyle Blackburn.
For the first time since 1988 a new face is guiding the Governors with first-year head coach Travis Janssen coming to Austin Peay after four seasons at Division II Northeastern State (Oklahoma).
Toeing the Rubber
Right-hander Alex Robles is back in the No. 1 role seeking to bounce back in this weekend’s action at Mercer followed by a pair of southpaws. Robles suffered the worst outing of his career last weekend against Connecticut, surrendering 7 runs on 10 hits in 3-plus innings.
Lefty Michael Costanzo has allowed 1 hit in each of his first 2 games (.049 opp. BA) and threw 7 shutout innings against Alcorn State, last Friday. Left-hander Zach Neff took a big step forward in his season’s 2nd start, holding nationally-ranked Missouri State to 5 runs in 5-plus innings without a walk.
About the Mercer Bears
Mercer (7-2) split a pair of midweek contests against Florida A&M, winning a 11-3 Tuesday contest before falling 14-7, Wednesday. The Bears are unbeaten in six weekend contests, sweeping three-game series from both Radford and Xavier in the first two weekends.
Friday starter Ryan Askew does not have a decision despite posting a 2.70 ERA. He allowed just one run in nine innings against Xavier, February 26th, while striking out nine.
At the plate, it is the duo of center fielder Kyle Lewis and second baseman Ryan Hagan that have done the damage in the opening nine games. Lewis has owns a team best .429 batting average with 11 walks and .565 on-base percentage. Hagan has a team-best 13 RBI while batting .389.
Live Statistics: www.PeayStats.com
TopicsAlcorn STate, Alex Robles, Alex Sala, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Baseball, APSU Men's Baseball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Bears, Cayce Bredlau, Clarksville TN, Claude Smith Field, Clayton Smithson, Connecticut, Dre Gleason, Florida A&M, Garrett Copeland, Governors, Govs, Imani Willis, Josh Wilson, Kentucky, Kirk Kayden, Kyle Blackburn, Kyle Lewis, Logan Gray, Macon GA, Mercer, Michael Costanzo, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Patrick Massoni, Radford, Ridge Smith, Ryan Askew, Ryan Hagan, T.J. Marik, Travis Janssen, Wildcats, Xavier, Zach Neff
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