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HomeSportsNationally ranked North Carolina State to be APSU Baseball's first road trip

Nationally ranked North Carolina State to be APSU Baseball’s first road trip

Austin Peay at #6 North Carolina State

February 24th – 26th | 2:00pm/1:00pm/12:00pm
Raleigh, NC | Doak Field

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – The season’s first road trip awaits Austin Peay State University’s baseball team as they head across the Appalachian Mountains for a three-game set against nationally-ranked North Carolina State, Friday-Sunday, at Doak Field in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Austin Peay Baseball travels to North Carolina State this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball travels to North Carolina State this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors first road trip follows a season-opening four-game homestand that saw them post a 3-1 record, including a pair of wins against Missouri Valley Conference foes. It is the second consecutive year the Govs have opened a season with three wins in their first four games.

Austin Peay’s offense made the most of Raymond C. Hand Park’s friendly confines, finishing the four-game stretch with a .333 batting average and averaging 9.3 runs per game. The Govs bats also pounded out 13 home runs, part of 21 extra-base hits (.696 slugging percentage) during the opening week.

On the mound, the Govs pitchers also had a successful start with 37 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched while walking just nine batters. Three of the Govs four starters picked up wins in their season’s first starts, including right-hander Alex Robles and lefty Michael Costanzo.

First Hacks

Team Notes
With eight home runs in their first three games, the Govs ended the opening weekend tied with New Mexico for the Division I lead in home runs per game. The Govs also were ranked among the nation’s Top 25 offenses in slugging percentage (4th, .629), total home runs (4th, 8) and triples (22nd, 2).

The Govs eight home runs in the three-game weekend were its most since hitting nine home runs at SIU Edwardsville last season (May 13th-15th). Six different Govs hit a home run on the weekend, including first baseman Dre Gleason and left fielder Cayce Bredlau, who each hit two home runs.

Individually
Senior first baseman Dre Gleason was named the adidas® OVC Player of the Week after leading the Govs with a .600 batting average, two home runs and six RBI during the Riverview Inn Governors Challenge. Redshirt freshman Parker Phillips enters the season’s second week as the Govs leading hitter (.571) after a three-hit outing against Southern Illinois, Wednesday.

Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton did not strike out during the season’s first four games (19 plate appearances) and leads the Govs with three home runs after his two-home run outing against Southern Illinois. Redshirt junior left fielder Cayce Bredlau showed no lingering effects from his 2016-ending injury, posting two home runs and a triple to begin 2017.

Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson‘s two home runs both started the bottom of the first inning and were part of his five-hit opening week. Senior designated hitter Alex Robles is off to a modest start at the plate (.308) but was 2-for-4 in his season-opening start.

Junior center fielder Imani Willis hit his first collegiate home run against Southern Illinois after hitting a pair of triples during the weekend. Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli had a two-run single against Southern Illinois and has earned a walk in each of his last three games. Sophomore catcher Alex Sala was the Govs opening day starter for the second consecutive season but enters Week 2 seeking his season’s first hit.

Toeing The Rubber

Staff Notes
On the mound, Austin Peay pitchers allowed just six walks in 27 innings for an impressive 2.00 walk per nine inning rate (21st nationally). They coupled that with 27 strikeouts in 27 innings – a 9.00 strikeout per nine inning rate (85th). The Govs batteries racked up three pickoffs, including catcher Parker Phillips who registered a pickoff at first base, Sunday.

Starters
For the 11th consecutive week, the Govs will turn to the Robles-Costanzo-Powell trio to headline a weekend series. Austin Peay has a 20-10 record on weekends since moving to the current trio in 2016. Senior right-hander Alex Robles notched a season-opening victory for the second consecutive season, striking out nine of the 18 batters he faced against Youngstown State.

Junior left-hander Michael Costanzo also won in his first home start (vs. Illinois State) for a second consecutive season, improving to 8-1 in his last nine home starts. Senior right-hander Caleb Powell had a rough start on the opening weekend, leaving the Indiana State contest after 3.1 innings and not registering in the decision.

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