Austin Peay (22-25, 11-15 OVC) at Notre Dame (23-26, 10-17 ACC)
Friday-Sunday, May 12th-14th, 2017
South Bend, IN | Eck Stadium
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay begins a regular-season ending seven game road trip when it meets Notre Dame in a three-game nonconference series at Eck Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
The three-game set begins with a 6:05pm (CT), Friday contest before continuing both Saturday and Sunday.The Govs make the road trip after winning a pair of thrilling decisions in midweek action.
Austin Peay downed Evansville with a pair of eighth-inning runs, Tuesday. The Govs followed that with a dramatic eight-run ninth inning that was capped by senior Alex Robles‘ walk-off grand slam, Wednesday.
Notre Dame enters the weekend after a week away from action due to finals. However, the series falls amidst a 13-game homestand for the Fighting Irish. They are 5-4 in the homestand entering this weekend’s action.
Austin Peay and Notre Dame have met once previously. The Govs won a 6-4 decision against the Fighting Irish during the 1960 season. It is the second weekend series the Govs have played against an ACC foe this season. Austin Peay won the series finale in a three-game set at North Carolina State in Week 2.
Redshirt junior left fielder Cayce Bredlau has reached safely in 17 consecutive games (18 H, 13 BB, .419 OBP) dating back to April 1st and brings a six-game hit streak (.318, 7-for-22) into the weekend.
Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli leads the Govs in batting average (32-for-80, .400), on-base percentage (.500) and runs scored (20) in the 19 games since he moved 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 has a hit in 10 of the Govs last 12 games (.325, 13-for-40).
Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton brings a seven-game hit streak (.370, 10-for-27, 7 RBI) into this weekend’s action, bumping his average up 20 points.
Sophomore catcher David Martinez has started three of the Govs last four games (1-for-5, .200). Sophomore Brett Newberg has been the starting designated hitter in four games over a 10 game stretch and has two home runs (.250, 4-for-16, 7 BB, .520 OBP) in those outings.
Redshirt freshman utility man Parker Phillips made his first collegiate starts at first base in the two midweek outings, had a hit in six straight at-bats and finished the two games with eight hits (.889, 8-for-9, 2 HR, 6 RBI). Redshirt freshman utility man Max Remy started at second base, Tuesday, and went 4-for-5 – his first collegiate four-hit outing.
Freshman utility man Malcolm Tipler did not start Tuesday’s contest, ending a stretch of 13 consecutive starts that saw him bat .321 (17-for-53, 15 RBI). Since April 1st, Junior center fielder Imani Willis is batting .315 (23-for-73) with 19 runs scored with a hit in 11 of those 14 games. Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson saw a five-game hit streak (8-for-20, .400) come to an end at Vanderbilt, last Tuesday, and is hitless in his last eight at-bats.
Robles’ walk-off grand slam, Wednesday, was the Govs 73rd home run this season, breaking the program’s single-season record set in 2001. It also was APSU’s first grand slam this season and nearly a year to the day since its last grand slam. The Govs enter weekend ranked No. 3 in home runs per game (1.55) among Division I teams.
APSU remains ranked fourth in total home runs (73), 10th in slugging percentage (.496) and are now ranked 25th in doubles per game (2.11). Austin Peay has hit 29 home runs in its last 18 games. Giovannelli became the 14th different batter to hit a home run in 2017, extending the program record for most players with a home run in a season.
The Govs record average is 1.25 home runs per game set in 1999. APSU hit a Hand Park record six home runs against Tennessee Tech, March 25th.
Toeing the Rubber
APSU pitchers continue their torrid strikeout pace, racking up 383 Ks through 422.2 innings this season. Their 8.16 strikeout rate currently ranks 86th nationally (7th 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 fifth straight start as the Govs No. 1 and he is 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA in his previous four starts at No. 1. The southpaw is ranked fifth among OVC pitchers in victories and is ranked third in ERA (3.86) entering the weekend.
Sophomore transfer Jacques Pucheu will make his season’s fifth start (all in OVC play). The lefty brings a 1-1 record and 6.46 ERA as a starter into this weekend’s set. Junior Zach Neff is penciled into the Govs No. 3 role for the weekend after striking out five over three innings in his season’s first start, Tuesday, against Evansville.
Up Next for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay continues its seven-game regular-esason ending road trip with an 1:00pm, Tuesday contest at Lipscomb. The Govs then close out the regular season with a three-game series at Eastern Illinois, next Thursday-Satuday.
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).