APSU Sports Information
Edwardsville, IL – Starter Jacques Pucheu and reliever Bret Newberg combined for a four-hit shutout as Austin Peay State University’s baseball team secured its Ohio Valley Conference three-game series with a 4-0 victory against SIU Edwardsville, Saturday afternoon at the Simmons Baseball Complex.
It is the third consecutive shutout pieced together by the Governors pitching staff, tying a program record set by the 1970 Governors baseball team.
Austin Peay began the shutout streak Tuesday against Western Kentucky before winning the first two games of its series against SIUE with shutouts.
Pucheu (7-1) worked efficiently throughout his seven-plus innings of work, needing just 90 pitched while facing 28 batters. He would face a runner on third base just twice in the game and only three runners reached scoring position. He would strike out six while allowing four hits and three walks in recording his third straight win.
SIUE (13-31, 4-19 OVC) saw an early scoring opportunity arose in the second when a walk, wild pitch and passed ball put left fielder Brock Hammit on third base with no outs. However, Pucheu got three outs without the ball getting past the pitcher’s mound to end the threat.
The next great SIUE scoring opportunity came in the seventh with runners on the corners and two out. But Pucheu got a simple ground out to shortstop to put the chance to rest.
Before Pucheu even stepped on the mound, Austin Peay (28-19, 17-9 OVC) provided all the run support he would need. After a pair of walks, left fielder Kyle Wilson drove in the game’s first two runs with a two-out double to right field. Third baseman Garrett Kueber, making his first start since April 15, followed with a single to drive in Wilson for a 3-0 lead.
That early outburst proved fortuitous as SIUE starter Kenny Serwa (3-5) found his stride after the rough first inning. He would retire nine consecutive batters after Kueber’s single. He would allow just one more run in his eight-inning outing – Govs first baseman Parker Phillips hitting his 17th home run of the season with two out in the fifth. Serwa suffered the loss after allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six.
Wilson led the offense with a 2-for-4, two RBI outing as Austin Peay needed just seven hits in the win. Center fielder Imani Willis also had two hits, including a double.
SIUE first baseman Jared McCunn had two of SIUE’s four hits, finishing the day 2-for-3 with a walk.
The 2018 Governors matched the 1970 Governors with three consecutive shutouts. The 1970 squad turned the trick in the first three games of a four-game series against Wooster. Austin Peay has pieced together 29 consecutive scoreless innings beginning with last Sunday’s contest against UT Martin.
For a second-straight game Phillips hit a home run in the fifth-inning. It was his 17th home run of 2018, tying him for third most in a season. He joins Pat O’Sullivan (17, 1999) and Chase Hamilton (17, 2017), Michael Johnson (18, 2002) and Nate Manning (19, 1996) as the only Govs to hit 17 or more home runs in a season. Phillips now has 29 career home runs, ninth most in program history and nine shy of breaking the record.
Five-Game Win Streak
Saturday’s win was the Governors fifth consecutive win – its longest win streak in 2018. It is the Governors longest win streak since a six-game streak during the 2016 season (April 16th-24th).
Bump In The Standings
With Saturday’s win, the Governors will go to bed alone in third place in the OVC standings. Morehead State dropped an early Saturday contest against Jacksonville State, allowing Austin Peay to move ahead of it in the standings by two points. Eastern Kentucky, which was tied with Morehead State, did not play Saturday due to weather and sits in second.
Up Next for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay and SIU Edwardsville conclude their three-game OVC set with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest at the Simmons Baseball Complex. The Governors, who will look for their second OVC series sweep of 2018, will turn to right-hander Brandon Vial (2-2, 5.65). SIUE will turn to right-hander Mason McReaken (2-2, 6.65) as it looks to salvage a win in the series.