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APSU Baseball hosts Middle Tennessee, Tuesday

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team opens a five-game homestand when it hosts Middle Tennessee in a 6:00pm, Tuesday, March 26th contest on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball returns home to take on Middle Tennessee, Tuesday. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball returns home to take on Middle Tennessee, Tuesday. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors return home after concluding their recent road trip with a 3-1 record, a mark that includes a 2-1 series victory against Southeast Missouri.

Austin Peay is 6-1 over its last seven games thanks largely to a starting pitching group that has posted a 6-0 record and a 1.66 ERA during the streak.

Middle Tennessee begins a four-game road trip with Tuesday affair. The Blue Raiders posted a 1-3 record during their four-game homestand, which included a Conference USA series loss to Louisiana Tech. Pitching also has been MTSU’s strength this season, ranking 46th nationally in staff ERA (3.52) and 20th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.95, 180 K-61 BB).

First Hacks

Fifteen different Governors have started a game in the season’s first 21 games. Only two players have started every game in 2019: center fielder Garrett Spain and utility man Parker Phillips.

Entering this week’s action, Austin Peay has played the nation’s 46th-toughest nonconference schedule according to D1Baseball.com. It is the toughest nonconference slate among OVC teams.

Center fielder Garrett Spain has reached base in all 21 games as a Governor. His .346 batting average ranks 17th among all Division I freshmen and leads all OVC freshman hitters.

Senior catcher David Martinez leads all Govs hitters with a .366 batting average that is 22nd among Division I catchers. His team-leading .451 on-base percentage is 10th among OVC hitters.

Junior utility man Parker Phillips became the Governors career home run leader in Sunday’s series finale against Southeast Missouri. He tied the record with a second-inning grand slam and broke the record with a ninth-inning two-out solo shot that was his 38th career blast.

Redshirt senior Garrett Kueber has made eight consecutive starts at shortstop and coincidentally owns an eight-game hit streak. He has batted .313 (10-for-32) during the streak, primarily as the Govs No. 2 hitter.

Freshman Gino Avros has a base hit in six of his last eight games and has pushed his season batting average up 43 points.

Sophomore Bobby Head had a hit and an RBI in each game of the Southeast Missouri set, the three-game hit streak is his longest this season.

Freshman designated hitter Matt Joslin led the Govs with a .364 batting average (4-for-11) at Southeast Missouri, including his first collegiate home run and three RBI.

Since sitting out the Southern Illinois contest, March 12, junior outfielder Malcolm Tipler is batting .350 (7-for-20) with five RBI in the seven games since returning to the starting lineup.

Sophomore first baseman John McDonald brings a five-game hit streak into the week. He is batting .375 (6-for-16) during the streak, bumping his average up 124 points.

Senior outfielder Aaron Campbell and junior outfielder Tyler Hubbard have both been late defensive substitutes for the Govs over the  past two weeks.

Toeing The Rubber

Junior right-hander Tyler Thompson will get the nod for Tuesday’s start against Middle Tennessee. He picked up his season’s first win a week ago in a start at Western Kentucky, last Tuesday.

Thompson has allowed only one run in his last two starts and is 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA as a starter in 2019.

Senior closer Brett Newberg was named the OVC Pitcher of the Week, Monday, after picking up a pair of saves. He did not allow a baserunner in his three appearances during the week totalling four innings.

Austin Peay starting pitchers have combined for a 9-5 record and 3.36 ERA with 117 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched (9.84 K/9).

The Governors bullpen has 84 strikeouts in 77.1 innings (9.78 K/9).

APSU Govs vs. MTSU Blue Raiders

One of the most-played series in Austin Peay history, the Govs and Blue Raiders have met 206 times prior to this season’s series.

MTSU owns a 134-72 lead in the series, including a 48-34 advantage in Clarksville. The Blue Raiders have won the last three meetings in the series.

Austin Peay’s last win in the series was a 21-8 decision, February 28th, 2017 in Clarksville.

 

Pitching Matchups

Date Austin Peay Starter Opposing Starter
Tue., 3/26 RHP Tyler Thompson (1-1, 6.23 ERA) RHP Josh Young (1-4, 3.00 ERA)

MLB Opening Day

Austin Peay will have two alumni featured on the opening day rosters of Major League Baseball teams when the season starts, Thursday.

Shawn Kelley (2003-07, HOF 2014) signed a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2020 with Texas, continuing his 10-year MLB career.

Ryne Harper (2008-11) was a non-roster invitee to Minnesota’s spring training. He tossed 10 scoreless innings in relief during the spring and was named to the Twins opening day roster, Monday.


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