Austin Peay (11-9/4-2 OVC) vs. Tennessee Tech (17-6/6-0 OVC)
Fri-Sun, March 24th-25th, 2017 | 3:00pm, 6:00pm, 1:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Raymond C. Hand Park
Clarksville, TN – This weekend, Austin Peay State University baseball team hosts Tennessee Tech in a three-game league set, Friday-Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park in a battle between two of the Ohio Valley Conference’s top three teams.
The series is scheduled to begin with a 3:00pm, Friday doubleheader contest followed by 1:00pm matchup either Saturday or Sunday depending on weather.
The Governors enter the weekend third in the league race with a 4-2 record following its series loss at Murray State, last weekend. The Golden Eagles have swept their first two OVC sets and bring their league-leading 6-0 record to Clarksville.
Govs Keep Golden Eagles Caged
The Governors and Golden Eagles have met 173 times previously, with Austin Peay holding a 93-79-1 edge in the all-time series. APSU and TTU have played 32 OVC sets since 1987 when three-game series became the normal, the Govs have a 20-10-2 record (58-36 game record) in those OVC series, including a 11-4-1 series record (31-16) in Clarksville.
Home Run Hearsay
After opening the season with 22 home runs in their first eight games (2.75 per game), the Govs have returned to terra firma in their past 12 games with 12 home runs in that span. Still the Govs enter the season’s sixth week ranked fourth among Division I in home runs per game (1.70).
The Govs also were ranked among the nation’s Top 25 offenses in total home runs (6th, 34) and slugging percentage (9th, .521). A record-tying 12 different Govs have hit a home run this season.
Senior first baseman Dre Gleason is the only Division I player ranked among the nation’s Top 5 in batting average (5th, .471), on-base percentage (5th, .563), slugging percentage (4th, .853) and RBI per game (3rd, 1.55). Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli has entered March like a lion, batting .321 in the month’s first 12 games and has boosted his average 99 points in his last 13 games.
Senior utility man Alex Robles has a hit in eight of his last nine games (11 H) and a RBI in seven of those nine contests (8 RBI). Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton had a walkoff ground out in Wednesday’s contest against Arkansas State and has a RBI in two of his last three games after going four games without a RBI.
Redshirt junior left fielder Cayce Bredlau has two hits in each of his last three games with three doubles and five RBI in that short stretch. Redshirt freshman Parker Phillips had four hits, three walks and five RBI in last week’s four games. Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson brings a three-game hit streak into this weekend’s set, batting 4-for-12 (.333) during his season’s best streak.
Junior center fielder Imani Willis has a hit in six of his last seven games (7 H), including a 2-for-4, five RBI effort in the Murray State opener. Sophomore catcher Alex Sala his his second home run of 2017 in Game 2 of the Murray State series and reached base three times. Redshirt freshman Max Remy has seen action in 9 of the Govs 12 games in March and has played second, third, shortstop and left field during the season.
Toeing The Rubber
APSU pitchers continue to record strikeouts, with 100 Ks in 109 March innings while racking up 174 Ks through 179 innings this season. Their 8.75 strikeouts per nine innings would break the program record and ranks 73rd nationally.
For the first time since March 24th-26th of last season, the Govs did not use the Robles-Costanzo-Powell trio to start a weekend series, breaking a stretch of 14 consecutive weekends. The Govs are expected to return to the Robles-Costanzo-Powell trio against Tennessee Tech. Austin Peay has a 25-14 record on weekends with that trio.
Right-hander Alex Robles is scheduled to return to the No. 1 role against the Golden Eagles after three weeks in the No. 2 role. He has wins in his first two OVC starts, including a shutout victory against Jacksonville State, March 11th. He enters the weekend ranked 11th among OVC pitchers with 10.24 strikeouts per nine innings.
Junior left-hander Michael Costanzo will return to the No. 2 role after not starting a game during the Murray State series. He appeared twice in relief at Murray and was tagged for the loss in the finale after surrendering four unearned runs. Costanzo is seeking his first victory since the opening weekend.
After posting a quality start against Jacksonville State, senior right-hander Caleb Powell did not make it past the third inning against Murray State, last Saturday. It ended a streak of three straight starts reaching at least the fifth inning. The loss to Murray State also snapped a streak of 10 starts without a loss.
APSU Baseball on the Net
Video available free online through the OVC Digital Network (OVCDigitalNetwork.com)
Next Up for APSU Baseball
The season’s longest road trip awaits on the other side of this weekend’s series. The Govs will travel to Middle Tennessee for a Wednesday contest before departing Thursday afternoon for a three-game OVC series at Southeast Missouri.
For additional coverage of Austin Peay’s baseball team, follow the Govs on Twitter @AustinPeayBSB. Austin Peay’s athletics department also maintains several social media accounts @LetsGoPeay (Twitter), /LetsGoPeay (Facebook) and /LetsGoPeay (Instagram).