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HomeSportsAPSU Basketball hosts Toledo this weekend for 2018 Seasons first home games

APSU Basketball hosts Toledo this weekend for 2018 Seasons first home games

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team and Mother Nature continue their early season battle with this weekend’s series against Toledo being modified to avoid heavy rainfall in the forecast.

The three-game set is scheduled to begin at noon, Friday, with the Govs and Rockets playing a doubleheader.

Austin Peay Baseball plays it's first home games of the season when it takes on the Toledo Rockets this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball plays it’s first home games of the season when it takes on the Toledo Rockets this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

The teams then will work with the weather to complete the series this weekend. Fans should visit LetsGoPeay.com or check in at Twitter.com/AustinPeayBSB for the latest schedule information.

The Governors (3-1) look to bounce back from Tuesday’s home-opening loss to Southern Illinois.

Austin Peay will turn to a weekend rotation that led the program to its first 3-0 start since 2012 with Michael Costanzo, Jacques Pucheu and Brandon Vial combining to allow one earned run in 17.2 innings pitched

Toledo (2-2) opened its season in Kissimmee, Florida and posted two wins against Saint Louis and dropping outings to Iowa and Pittsburgh. Game 1 & 2 starters Michael Jacob and Layne Schnitz-Paxton allowed just one earned run in their 12.1 innings pitched.

Single-game, flex, season and boxLife Suite tickets for Austin Peay baseball are available by calling the Governors Athletics Ticket office at 931.221.PEAY [7329] or online at LetsGoPeay.com/SportTix

Tuesday’s contest can be heard in its entirety on the Governors Sports Network and live video will be available on the OVC Digital Network.

First Hacks

The 2018 Governors offense will be a collectively young group with only 15 years of Division I experience between the 20 available position players entering the season. Austin Peay saw 12 different players make a start in the batting order during the opening week’s four games.

Right fielder Nick Walker leads the Govs with a .462 batting average after the opening week with two home runs hit in the home opener. Left fielder Brandon Kelley is batting .444 but has an impressive .643 on-base percentage thanks to four walks in his first three starts of 2018.

Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli hit Austin Peay’s first home run of 2018 against Southern Illinois and has scored a team-best six times. Shortstop Garrett Kueber has hit four doubles already in 2018 and leads the Govs with five RBI.

Outfielder Andrew Flaherty has four starts this season at four different positions (DH, 1B, LF, RF) and has three hits in his four games. First baseman Parker Phillips is out to a slow start at the plate with two hits but has three walks in the season’s first four games.

Catcher David Martinez has seen action in all four games this season and enters Week 2 seeking his season’s first hit. Designated hitter John McDonald has started each of the last two games and posted the Govs first 3-hit outing of 2018 against Illinois, Sunday.

Center fielder Imani Willis played all three games in St. Louis but sat out Tuesday’s home opener due to a coach’s decision. Third baseman Bobby Head has played three of the season’s first four games, only missing the Illinois contest due to a coach’s decision.

Infielder Malcolm Tipler got the start at third base against Illinois and has played in three of the first four games.

Austin Peay lost four regulars from last season’s team: Alex Robles, Dre Gleason, Cayce Bredlau and Chase Hamilton who accounted for 833 of the team’s 2051 at-bats, 48 of its school-record 84 home runs and 181 of its 360 RBI. Austin Peay hit a program-record 84 home runs last season, breaking the record set in 2001. The Govs have hit 50 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons and in five of the last six campaigns.

Toeing The Rubber

Senior Michael Costanzo opened his final campaign with seven strikeouts in five innings of work in the season-opener against South Dakota State. It was the third consecutive season he has won his season debut, he is 1-1 in the second start of a season.

Junior Jacques Pucheu one-upped Costanzo in his Game 2 start against South Dakota State, recording nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Austin Peay improved to 5-2 when Pucheu makes a start.

Junior transfer Brandon Vial posted the weekend’s best start, tossing 7.1 innings in a combined shutout of Illinois. Vial was named the adidas® OVC Pitcher of the Week after his performance.

Austin Peay pitchers amassed a record-tying 466 strikeouts (8.07 K/9)last season. It was only the fifth time in program history a Govs pitching staff has recorded 400 strikeouts in a season, all occurring since 2011. Eleven different Govs pitchers started a game in 2017, six of those return for the 2018 season.

In The Midweek

Following this weekend’s series, Austin Peay travels to Nashville for the first time in 2018 to face nationally-ranked Vanderbilt. The Commodores have won the two meetings since the series was revived in 2016, including last season’s 8-4 decision.

The Suite Life

Fans interested in more information or renting an Austin Peay-themed boxGATE suite for the season, a weekend or a game should complete the online form available at LetsGoPeay.com or contact Mike Minyard, Associate Athletics Director at . Suites may be rented each weekend series ($1,000 per weekend) or on a single-game basis.

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