Austin Peay (20-22, 11-12 OVC) vs. SIU Edwardsville (18-24, 6-15 OVC)
Friday-Sunday, May 5th-7th, 2017
Clarksville, TN | Raymond C. Hand Park
Clarksville, TN – One last home weekend series awaits Austin Peay State University’s baseball team as it prepares to host SIU Edwardsville in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series, Friday-Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.The series is scheduled to start with a 6:00pm, Friday contest that also will be Military Appreciation Day at The Hand.
The Govs and Cougars then will play a 1:00pm, Saturday contest.
The series wraps up with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest that will feature Austin Peay’s Senior Day recognition prior to the contest’s start.
Austin Peay remains fifth in the OVC regular season-race after winning its OVC series at UT Martin last weekend. The Govs sit within three games of third place Belmont but also are only two games ahead of ninth place in the standings.
SIUE enters the weekend with losses in 11 of its last 12 games (seven straight OVC losses) but earlier this season won OVC series against Murray State, Southeast Missouri and Eastern Kentucky.
Austin Peay has won three of the five series against SIUE and owns a 10-5 record in OVC contests. The Governors swept last season’s series in Edwardsville but the Cougars claimed the 2015 set played in Clarksville, 2-1. All time, APSU and SIUE have met 30 times in a series that started in 1973. The Govs hold an 19-11 advantage in the overall series, including an 11-3 record in Clarksville.
Senior utility man Alex Robles was named the adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, Monday. In the series finale at UT Martin he became the first known player at the Division I level to win a game as the winning pitcher (first start since April 7th), hit for the cycle while going 5-for-5 at the plate.
Redshirt junior Cayce Bredlau has reached safely in 12 consecutive games (12 H, 9 BB, .404 OBP) including each of the three games he has played since returning from an upper body injury. Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli has a 14-game hit streak (29-for-60, .483 BA, 11 BB, .569 OBP) since moving into the leadoff spot against Belmont, April 7th.
Senior first baseman Dre Gleason was one of 40 players named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Watch List, April 12th. Gleason enters the midweek contest with a six-game hit streak (9-for-26, .346 BA, 5 RBI, 4 BB). Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton has five home runs in his last 11 games and is batting .298 batting average (14-for-47) in that stretch.
Sophomore catcher Alex Sala came off the bench in Friday’s contest at UT Martin and hit a pinch-hit three-run home run, his third home run this season. Freshman utility man Malcolm Tipler saw a four-game hit streak (8-for-16, .438, 6 RBI) come to an end at Vanderbilt, Tuesday.
Since April 1st, Junior center fielder Imani Willis is batting .345 (20-for-58) with 17 runs scored, including a .467 batting average and 13 runs scored as the Govs nine-hole hitter. Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson saw a five-game hit streak (8-for-20, .400) come to an end at Vanderbilt, Tuesday, but his average is up 25 points since April 19th.
The Govs enter the weekend ranked No. 5 in home runs per game (1.50) among Division I teams, after hitting just two home runs during their recently concluded three-game homestand. They also remain ranked seventh in total home runs (57), 12th in slugging percentage (.489) and are now ranked 17th in doubles per game (2.21).
Junior Garrett Giovannelli became the 14th different Govs batter to hit a home run in 2017, extending the program record for most players with a home run in a season. Austin Peay’s 57 home runs ranks ninth most in program history with 15 regular-season games remaining.
The next spots up the list are: 59 (2000), 60 (1998) and 61 (1992 and 2012). 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 their torrid strikeout pace, racking up 341 Ks through 377.2 innings this season. Their 8.12 strikeout rate currently ranks 88th nationally (6th in OVC). It would be just the third time in program history a Govs pitching staff has averaged more than eight strikeouts per nine innings.
Redshirt sophomore Josh Rye will make his fourth straight start as the Govs No. 1 and his fifth OVC weekend start this season. The southpaw is tied for third among OVC pitchers in victories and is ranked third in ERA (3.96) entering the weekend.
Sophomore transfer Jacques Pucheu will make his season’s fourth start (all in OVC play). The lefty brings a 1-0 record and 5.54 ERA as a starter into this weekend’s set. Senior right-hander Alex Robles was victorious in his return to the start rotation, last Saturday at UT Martin, and is 4-5 with a 6.67 ERA as a starter in 2017.
Up Next for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay will finish its four-game homestand with a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest against Evansville. The Govs then step out of OVC play with a three-game series at Notre Dame next weekend.
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).