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APSU Baseball hosts Murray State this weekend in Heritage Bank Battle of the Border

Austin Peay vs. Murray State

March 16th-19th, 2018 | 6:00pm | 2:00pm | 1:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Raymond C. Hand Park

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team returns to Ohio Valley Conference play when it hosts Murray State in a three-game set, Friday-Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park. The series also kicks off the spring portion of the Heritage Bank Battle of the Border.

Austin Peay Baseball plays Murray State at Raymond C. Hand Park this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball plays Murray State at Raymond C. Hand Park this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

The three-game set is scheduled to begin with a 6:00pm, Friday contest. The Govs and Racers then meet in a 2:00pm, Saturday matchup before concluding the series at 1:00pm, Sunday. All three games of the series can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.

Austin Peay enters the weekend mired in an offensive slump that has seen it held scoreless for its last two games, including a shutout loss to Middle Tennessee, Tuesday. However, they have won all four weekend series this season, posting a 10-2 record in weekend action.

Murray State brings a three-game win streak into the weekend, opening OVC play with a 2-1 series victory against SIUE last weekend before picking up a midweek victory against Kentucky State, Wednesday. The Racers have won their last three weekend series but are just 1-4 in true road games this season.

Ticket Information

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

The Suite Life

Fans interested in more information or renting an Austin Peay-themed boxLIFE 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.

First Hacks

Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli is ranked among the Division I Top 30 in walks per game (1.06, 27th) and has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games dating back to last season. Shortstop Garrett Kueber leads the Govs with 14 runs scored and is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI entering the weekend and he has reached base in his first 17 games as a Governor.

Third baseman Malcolm Tipler has started six of the Govs last seven games, including a Tuesday start at second base, and is batting .227 (5-for-22) in those starts. First baseman Parker Phillips is battling through a three-game hitless streak that is tied for his longest career hitless streak.

Left fielder Andrew Flaherty saw his 15-game reached base safely streak end against Middle Tennessee, but is batting .356 in the 11 games since becoming a regular in the starting lineup against Toledo. Center fielder Imani Willis has batted .394 (13-33) with 10 RBI (both team bests) in his 12 games since returning to the starting lineup, including reaching base in 10 of his last 14 plate appearances (4 H, 5 BB, 1 HBP).

Right fielder Nick Walker leads the Govs in each of the major hitting categories (.345 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .586 SLG, .480 OBP) entering the weekend. Catcher David Martinez‘ has three hits in his last seven at-bats, posting two RBI in the Jacksonville State series finale, Sunday, and a double against Middle Tennessee, Tuesday.

Catcher Alex Sala also made two starts against Jacksonville State and was 1-for-5 with a walk. Kyle Wilson made two starts at designated hitter during the Jacksonville State series with a base hit and a walk to his credit. Outfielder Aaron Campbell made his third start this season at Ole Miss, last Tuesday, after going 2-for-7 with three RBI in two games against the Sycamores.

The 2018 Governors offense is a collectively young group with only 15 years of Division I experience between the 20 available position players entering the season. Austin Peay has seen 16 different players make a start in the batting order so far this season and head coach Travis Janssen has utilized a different batting order in every game this season.

The Govs have hit 50 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons and in five of the last six campaigns, including last season’s record 84-homer campaign.

Toeing The Rubber

Left-hander Michael Costanzo, the Govs’ Game 1 starter, is one of five OVC pitchers with three wins this season after notching his first career road win at Jacksonville State, last Friday. His 32 strikeouts and his 12.52 strikeouts per nine innings are both second-most in the OVC this season.

The Govs will hand southpaw Jacques Pucheu the ball for Game 2 of the series after his dominant win against Jacksonville State, last Saturday, which saw him scatter four hits over 6.2 innings. He ranks fourth among OVC pitchers with 27 strikeouts this season. For the second straight week Austin Peay’s Game 3 starter will be announced during the series.

Governors pitchers have 139 strikeouts in 150 innings (8.34 K/9) this season. 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.

On Deck

Austin Peay begins a five-game road trip with a two-game midweek series at Kansas State, head coach Travis Janssen‘s alma mater, Tuesday-Wednesday. The Govs and Wildcats will meet for the first time since 1999 and it will be Austin Peay’s first trip to Manhattan, Kansas.


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