APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – APSU’s baseball team begins its short Easter week schedule when it travels to Western Kentucky for a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, KY.
The Governors (9-9, 3-3 OVC) return to the road after a rough weekend of Ohio Valley Conference play at Jacksonville State. A shorthanded Austin Peay State University lineup lost its sixth straight road league set over the weekend as it ran into a red-hot Gamecocks squad.All aspects of Austin Peay’s performance suffered over the weekend. The Govs were held to a .223 batting average, despite seeing 14 of their 23 base hits go for extra bases.
APSU’s defense committed six errors in the series – its most in any weekend series this season. Austin Peay’s pitching staff wasn’t spared, surrendering 33 earned runs (12.38 ERA) at Jacksonville State – its highest total in a three-game set.
The Governors will seek to start their rebound against a Western Kentucky team that has proven tough to beat. Austin Peay has lost four straight – and 10 of the last 12 – to the Hilltoppers. The Govs only respite during that streak was the 2013 squad’s sweep of the regular-season series.
Junior utility man Ridge Smith has moved into a tie for the OVC home run lead, his eight home runs ranking fifth nationally. Smith also owns the Govs longest active hit streak (12 games). Junior first baseman Dre Gleason was held to one hit at Jacksonville State (.111 batting average) and dropped from 5th to 32nd nationally in batting average (.422).
Senior shortstop Clayton Smithson had three hits – each for extra bases – at JSU and extended his hit streak to six games (.304 BA, .696 SLG).
Junior second baseman Garrett Copeland notched his first home run of 2016 in the Jacksonville State finale, Sunday, as part of a 3-for-15 weekend. Junior transfer TJ Conroy has started the last four games at third base and has batted .267 with three RBI and four walks.
Junior Chase Hamilton started two games in center field at JSU but had a hit in all three games, including a patient 1-for-1, four-walk outing in the finale which saw him hit a two-run home run. His four walks in a game tied the APSU record held by several players.
Junior designated hitter Alex Robles also was held in check with just two hits in the JSU series, but his .351 season batting average still ranks second on the team. 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).
Austin Peay is just 1-6 in road games this season but is 8-3 at home.
Toeing the Rubber
Austin Peay will turn to junior right-hander Caleb Powell for Tuesday’s start.
He picked up a win in his season’s first start, March 16th, against Northern Illinois.
Powell allowed one run on four hits in six innings for his season’s first victory.
Tuesday’s outing will be Powell’s 22nd career start and he has a career 6-3 record and 6.22 ERA in 43 appearances.
About the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Western Kentucky (11-8, 0-3 C-USA) owns a 4-0 mark in midweek tilts, including victories at Kentucky (14-6, March 15th) and Tennessee (6-0, March 8th). Senior third baseman Danny Hudzina leads the Hilltoppers with a .470 batting average and has 10 walks against four strikeouts in 96 plate appearances this season.
Redshirt junior first baseman Thomas Peter brings a team-best 21 RBI (.310 batting average) into the midweek contest. They pace a WKU offense that ranks 24th nationally with a .312 batting average.
Audio for all baseball contests available free online at www.LetsGoPeay.com/listen
Live Statistics: www.PeayStats.com