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Instant Peay Play: Eleven former APSU Govs continue to shine in pro baseball leagues as MLB All-Star week approaches

 

Instant Peay Play - APSU SportsClarksville, TN – With one week to go before Major League Baseball takes a pause for its annual mid-season All-Start Game, 11 former Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball players are still getting it done on pro baseball fields around America and in international leagues.

Currently, two former Govs pitchers Shawn Kelley (Texas Rangers) and Ryne Harper (Minnesota Twins) are on MLB rosters, with Kelley leading the team with 11 saves — as the team’s closer – while also having three wins in five decisions and a 2.79 ERA, while Harper has made the most of his first action in the majors in posting a 3-1 record with a save and a 2.97 ERA as a set-up man out of the bullpen.

Texas Rangers relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) throws against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Texas Rangers relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) throws against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

On MLB minor league team rosters are: Tyler Rogers, playing for the San Francisco Giants AAA farm team (Sacramento River Cats), Zach Neff playing for the Twins A+ minor league team (Fort Myers Miracle), Michael Costanzo on the Tampa Bay Rays A League Bowling Green Hot Rods, while Greg Leban (Atlanta Braves) and Parker Phillips (Twins) are on their respective teams Rookie League teams in the Gulf Coast League, with Jacques Pucheu on the Cincinnati Reds rookie farm team in the Arizona League.

Rogers is currently tied for second on the River Cats in total wins with four, in 31 appearances out of the bullpen, while also recording two saves and a solid ERA of 3.05, while Neff is 1-1 overall this summer, with a 2.57 ERA and nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched and Costanzo is still looking for his first decision with the Hot Rods after being called up from the short-season A team Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League a couple of weeks ago.

As for Leban, Phillips and Pucheu who just got their respective seasons underway in the rookie leagues: Phillips batting .313 (5-16) in four games — with an RBI – while Pucheu is 1-1 in his two games pitched, with six strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work and Leban has seen action in one game so far with the Braves rookie league team.

Rounding out the former Govs still playing pro baseball are Garrett Copeland (Milwaukee Milkmen) of the American Association Independent League and David Martinez (Utica Unicorns) of the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League, while Alex Robles is currently in the Mexican League’s Tigres de Quintana Roo club.

Copeland has played in all 42 games for the Milkmen this summer and is batting .265, with 10 doubles, a triple and two home runs to go with 19 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

Martinez has only seen action in two games for the Unicorns – including a start – and is 1-for-4 at the plate, with a walk, while Robles is 3-for-12 in four games – with three RBIs – for the Tigres.


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