APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – On a day Austin Peay State University’s baseball team honored one of its alumni, starter Jacques Pucheu struck out a nine batters and the offense supplied three home runs in an 8-4 Ohio Valley Conference victory against UT Martin, Saturday at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Prior to the game, Austin Peay (24-19, 14-9 OVC) recognized alumnus Stephen Huff, who threw the ceremonial first pitch to help raise awareness for lung cancer.
Afterwards, Governors starter Jacques Pucheu then took the mound and twirled six scoreless frames to start the game.
Pucheu (6-1) would see his shutout bid come to an end in the seventh, but still struck out the side in the inning. He returned to start the eighth and retired the first two hitters before allowing a double that ended his outing. Still, Pucheu went a career long 7.2 innings and struck out nine batters while scattering nine hits and two walks to pick up the win.
The Governors offense took charge early with three home runs in the first three innings. Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli opened the day with a solo home run and first baseman Parker Phillips tacked on another solo shot two batters later for an early 2-0 lead.
Giovannelli would triple into the corner in the second, extending the lead. Phillips then followed with a leadoff home run in the third inning and the Govs lead hit 4-0.
Austin Peay broke the game open in the seventh, using four consecutive hits to score three runs in the frame. Left fielder Malcolm Tipler and Phillips hit back-to-back doubles and center fielder Nick walker singled, each driving in a run to push the lead to 8-1.
UT Martin (9-31, 5-15 OVC) saw second baseman Tyler Albright hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to break up the shutout bid. The Skyhawks then saw their first four batters in the ninth reach base to provide a late threat. However, Governors reliever Harley Gollert got a strikeout, line out and fielder’s choice to end the threat for his season’s third save.
Giovannelli had three hits, falling a double shy of the cycle, and drove in a pair of runs. Phillips also had three hits, each for extra bases, and had three RBI.
Skyhawks starter Winston Cannon (1-7) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings. Albright went 2-for-3 with two RBI and walked twice to pace the UTM offense.
First baseman Parker Phillips notched his second straight multi-home run outing, notching solo shots in the first and third innings. It was his fourth multi-home run effort in his last nine games and he has a home run in six of those games (11 total).
Phillips Homer Tally
The two-home run outing helped Phillips reach 15 home runs this season, eighth most in a single-season. He joins Frank Kunich and Michael Johnson, who each hit 15 home runs during the 2015 season – four shy of the program record set by Nate Manning in 1996. He now has 27 career home runs, 12th most in program history and 10 shy of the record.
Costanzo And Pucheu Now 1-2
Costanzo (79 strikeouts) and Pucheu (75) finished the day ranked first and second among OVC pitchers in total strikeouts this season. They also are ranked among the OVC’s top three in strikeouts during conference play only, Costanzo (56) ranked first while Costanzo (54) is ranked third.
Huff, a pitcher on the 2007-10 Governors baseball teams, was diagnosed with Stage IV inoperable non-small cell lung cancer in June 2017. As part of his effort to raise awareness, he is attempting to get a specialty lung cancer awareness license plate in Tennessee to help raise funds for lung cancer research. Huff is working to get the 1,000 Tennessee residents needed to launch the license plate through his newly launched The Huff Project website.
Next Up for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay will look to win its 10th weekend series when it concludes the three-game OVC set with UT Martin at 1:00pm, Sunday. Right-hander Brandon Vial (1-2) will take the mound for the Governors.