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APSU Baseball heads to Western Kentucky for four game series

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – After picking up a crucial Ohio Valley Conference sweep last weekend, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team will seek to keep its momentum moving forward when it faces Western Kentucky in a 5:00pm, Tuesday nonconference tilt in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Austin Peay Baseball travels to Western Kentucky, Tuesday, for a four game series. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball travels to Western Kentucky, Tuesday, for a four game series. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay enters the midweek outing after notching an impressive three-game sweep of defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Tennessee Tech.

The Govs rode their starting pitching to the sweep as the combination of Josh Rye, Jacques Pucheu and Brandon Vial combined for 17 scoreless innings while striking out 27 batters.

Western Kentucky also returns to action after posting a conference sweep of its own, turning aside UAB in three closely-fought affairs. The sweep helped the Hilltoppers end a seven-game losing streak and open Conference USA play as one of three unbeaten teams.

First Hacks

Fifteen different Governors have started a game in the season’s first 17 games. Only three players have started all 17 games in 2019: center fielder Garrett Spain, utility man Parker Phillips and shortstop Bobby Head.

Entering this week’s action, Austin Peay has played the nation’s 45th-toughest schedule – and toughest among OVC teams.

The Govs have faced three teams with 12 or more wins in 2019: Kentucky (13), Vanderbilt (15) and Indiana State (16).

Center fielder Garrett Spain has reached base in all 17 games as a Governor and currently owns a 10-game hit streak. His .375 batting average ranks 12th among all Division I freshmen and leads all OVC freshman hitters.

Senior catcher David Martinez opened the season batting .500 in the season’s first 10 games. He has cooled off recently, but is second among Govs hitters with a .364 batting average that is 25th among Division I catchers.

Junior utility man Parker Phillips has reached base safely in 16 of 17 games this season. He hit his 36th career home run against Tennessee Tech, Saturday, and is one homer shy of tying the APSU career home run mark.

Redshirt senior Garrett Kueber has made four consecutive starts at shortstop and coincidentally owns a four-game hit streak. He has batted .375 (6-for-16) during the streak, primarily as the Govs No. 2 hitter.

Freshman Gino Avros has started at third base and hit in the leadoff spot in each of the last four games. he is batting .250 (3-for-12) but has four walks and a .500 on-base percentage in those games.

Sophomore Bobby Head is batting .235 (4-for-17) in the first two weekends of Ohio Valley Conference play with three sacrifice hits.

Freshman designated hitter Matt Joslin has reached base in four straight games – all in OVC play – and is batting .375 (3-for-8) with a .533 on-base percentage in league action.

Junior outfielder Malcolm Tipler had four RBI during the Tennessee Tech series, including a go-ahead two-run double in the series opener.

Junior Andrew Flaherty started in all five games last week but saw a four game hit streak halted at Southern Illinois, March 12.

Sophomore first baseman John McDonald came off the bench twice against Tennessee Tech and provided a pinch-hit single in the series finale.

Senior outfielder Aaron Campbell was a late defensive replacement in all three games of the TTU series and supplied a pinch-hit RBI single in Game 3 of the set.

Toeing The Rubber

Junior right-hander Tyler Thompson will make his fourth consecutive midweek start.

He has gotten stronger in each of his previous three starts, leaving a March 12 contest at Southern Illinois with a 2-1 lead. He lasted a career-high five innings in the start against the Salukis.

Senior starter Jacques Pucheu was named the OVC Pitcher of the Week, Monday, after striking out a career-high 12 batters against Tennessee Tech, Saturday, and extending his scoreless innings streak to 22 frames.

Austin Peay starting pitchers have combined for a 6-5 record and 3.45 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 86.0 innings pitched (10.15 K/9).

The Governors bullpen has 66 strikeouts in 63.1 innings (9.38 K/9).

APSU Govs vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Austin Peay and Western Kentucky have met 158 times with the Hilltoppers holding a 94-63-1 edge in the all-time series.

The Governors have won three of the four meetings since 2016, ending a stretch that saw WKU claim 10 of 12 from 2009-2015.

Pitching Matchups

Date Austin Peay Starter Opposing Starter
Tue., 3/19 RHP Tyler Thompson (0-0, 6.46) LHP Troy Newell (1-1, 8.18)

 

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