Austin Peay (17-18, 8-10 OVC) vs. Morehead State (26-11, 11-4 OVC)
Friday-Sunday, April 20th, 2017
Clarksville, TN | Raymond C. Hand Park
Clarksville, TN – After playing nine of its last 12 on the road, Austin Peay’s baseball team returns to Raymond C. Hand Park to kick off a four-game homestand with a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against Morehead State.
The league set is scheduled to begin with a Friday doubleheader; first pitch for Game One is slated for noon.The Governors enter the weekend seventh in the OVC standings after winning one of three at Eastern Kentucky, last weekend.
Morehead State ended a five-game losing streak with four straight home wins, including an OVC series sweep of SIU Edwardsville, and enters the weekend second in the OVC.
Austin Peay and Morehead State have played 27 OVC series since 1989, the Govs own a 18-9 (50-30 game record) advantage in those series and an 11-3 (31-11) margin in series played in Clarksville.
However, the Eagles have won the last three series played between the teams and their 2015 series victory in Clarksville snapped a streak of seven consecutive Govs series wins at home.
Redshirt junior left fielder Cayce Bredlau has reached safely in nine consecutive games (.429 OBP) but is currently day-to-day after suffering an upper body injury in the Eastern Kentucky series finale. Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli (13-for-28, .464) has a seven-game hit streak since moving into the leadoff spot to start the Belmont series.
Senior first baseman Dre Gleason was one of 40 players named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Watch List, April 12TH. Gleason is battling through a mini-slump over the past four games (4-for-20, .200) that has dropped his average below .400 for the first time this season.
Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton saw his five-game hit streak (9-for-23, .391) snapped at Western Kentucky, Wednesday.
Freshman catcher David Martinez has reached base in each of his seven starts since April 1st (.379 OBP). Sophomore Brett Newberg started the Govs game at WKU in the designated hitter spot and was 1-for-3 with a double and walk. Redshirt freshman utility man Parker Phillips had two doubles and a home run in his 3-for-4, two RBI outing at Western Kentucky, Wednesday.
Redshirt freshman utility man Max Remy did not have a base hit in his last start, April 15th at Eastern Kentucky, but had a bases-loaded walk and scored twice.
Senior utility man Alex Robles is 5-for-9 (.556) with three RBI in his last two games and has taken over as the Govs batting average leader (.375) entering the weekend. Sophomore catcher Alex Sala has four walks in his last four outings behind the plate.
Freshman walk-on Malcolm Tipler has started the last two games, including a first-ever start in left field, and has posted four hits (.444 BA) and seven RBI in those two outings. Junior center fielder Imani Willis has four hits (.667 BA) and has scored six times in the Govs last two games. Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson has a hit in each of his last three starts.
Home Run Hearsay
The Govs have hit a home run in six consecutive games entering this weekend’s series, with 7 of their 11 home runs in that stretch coming on the road. Austin Peay enters the weekend ranked No. 5 in home runs per game (1.57) among Division I teams, No. 6 in both total home runs (55) and No. 9 in slugging percentage (.496).
Thirteen different Govs have hit a home run in 2017, breaking the program record for most individual hitters with a home run in a season. Austin Peay’s 55 home runs ranks 10th on the team’s single-season record list, 18 shy of breaking the record.
The Govs record pace is 1.25 home runs per game set in 1999 (70 HR/56 GP). APSU hit a Raymond C. Hand Park record six home runs against Tennessee Tech, March 25th.
Toeing The Rubber
APSU pitchers continue to record strikeouts, racking up 295 Ks through 316.1 innings this season. The team’s 8.39 strikeouts per nine innings would be its best mark since 1967. After notching one save in the season’s first 26 games, the Govs bullpen has five saves in its last nine games played.
Redshirt sophomore left-hander Josh Rye will make his second straight start as the Govs No. 1 and his third OVC weekend start this season. The Govs midweek starter to begin the year, he is tied for fifth among OVC pitchers (66th nationally) in victories and is ranked fifth in ERA (3.55) entering the weekend.
Lefty Brett Newberg will make his fourth consecutive OVC start in the No. 2 role. He has posted victories in his first three OVC starts, allowing a 4.15 ERA in those outings. Sophomore southpaw Jacques Pucheu will make his third straight OVC start a week after earning his first collegiate victory at Eastern Kentucky, last Saturday.
Next Up for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay will finish its four-game homestand with a Tuesday contest against Western Kentucky. The Govs return to the road for a three-game OVC set at UT Martin, next Friday-Sunday.
Follow APSU Baseball
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).