Austin Peay at Kansas State
March 20th & 21st, 2018 | 6:30pm, 12:00pm
Manhattan, KS | Tointon Family Stadium
Clarksville, TN – Fresh off a weekend sweep, Austin Peay’s baseball team begins a five-game road trip when it visits Kansas State for a contests both Tuesday and Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.
The two-game midweek series is scheduled to begin with a 6:30pm, Tuesday contest followed by a noon, Wednesday meeting. Both games can be seen on ESPN3
Austin Peay makes its first trip to the state of Kansas since 1991 when it traveled to Wichita State for a midweek pair.
The Governors will look to build on a three-game Ohio Valley Conference sweep of Murray State last weekend that saw the offense break out for 37 runs and a .354 batting average while the pitching staff recorded 32 strikeouts and a 4.00 ERA.
Kansas State wraps up a 13-game homestand with this week’s contests against the Govs. The Wildcats have posted an 8-3 record during the homestand. KSU lost a three-game series to College of Charleston last weekend, salvaging a 7-3 victory in Sunday’s series finale.
With 20 games in the book, Austin Peay is ranked No. 50 in the NCAA’s March 18 RPI rankings and are 60th in overall win percentage. The Governors have recorded six or more walks 12 times this season and they rank seventh nationally with 124 base on balls (6.20 per game). Austin Peay also is ranked among the nation’s Top 50 in doubles per game (2.2) and scoring (7.4 runs per game entering the week.
Shortstop Garrett Kueber enjoyed a four-hit, six-RBI outing in Sunday’s series finale against Murray State and took over the team lead in batting average (.356) and RBI (22) after five weekends; he also has reached base safely in all 20 games this season. Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli owns a 26-game reached base safely streak that dates back to last season and leads the Govs with 21 runs scored this season.
Third baseman Malcolm Tipler has started each of the last seven games and has batted .259 with eight runs scored during that starting streak. Andrew Flaherty started at first base in the final two games of the Murray State series and has started each of the last 15 games and is batting .352 since moving into the starting lineup. Center fielder Imani Willis hit his second grand slam of the season in the Murray State series opener, Friday, just three weeks after hitting his first career grand slam (Toledo, February 23rd).
Catcher David Martinez‘ has three hits, three walks and four RBI in his last four games, including two RBI without a base hit in Sunday’s series finale. Catcher Alex Sala went 2-for-5 with two doubles, including a three-run double in the series finale. Kyle Wilson started all three games of the Murray State series, twice in right field, and ran his hit streak to four games with three two-hit outings against the Racers.
Outfielder Aaron Campbell started twice in right field against Murray State and had a hit in each start and scored four times in the finale. Nick Walker has five multi-hit contests since March 3 (11 games) and leads the Govs in slugging percentage (.567) with eight extra base hits this season.
Parker Phillips was held out of the final two games of the Murray State series (coach’s decision) and is battling a four-game hitless streak.
Austin Peay has seen 16 different players make a start in the batting order so far this season and utilized a different batting order in every game this season.
Toeing The Rubber
Austin Peay will hand the ball to senior right-hander Kyle Wilson in Tuesday’s series opener, who will make his second start this season. His previous start came in the Govs March 6th contest at Ole Miss where he made his season’s longest outing. Austin Peay has not named a probable starter for Wednesday’s contest.
Governors pitchers have 171 strikeouts in 177 innings (8.69 K/9) this season. Austin Peay pitchers amassed a record-tying 466 strikeouts (8.07 K/9) last season.
Following its quick trip to Manhattan, the Govs return to Tennessee where they continue the five-game road trip with an OVC series at Tennessee Tech, Friday-Sunday. It will be a matchup of two teams tied atop the OVC standings after two weeks.