Clarksville, TN – Seeking to build on its first Ohio Valley Conference series victory, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team heads to West Tennessee for a three-game series against UT Martin, Friday-Sunday, at Skyhawk Field. The series gets underway with a 5:00pm, Friday contest followed by a 3:00pm, Saturday tilt, and 1:00pm, Sunday finale.
APSU catcher Jack Alexander has been red hot this season, entering the weekend with a .406 batting average. He has two home runs in his last four games, including a blast at Vanderbilt, Tuesday. Third baseman Michael Robinson has been a key supporting piece in the lineup, batting above .300 all season and entering the weekend with a .330 batting average.
Shortstop Casey Harford leads UT Martin at the season’s halfway point, batting .309 with four home runs, and 18 RBI – all team bests. Left fielder Will Smith is the lone Skyhawks player to see action in all 26 games this season and is tied for the team lead with 25 hits and leads the way with 16 walks.
Toeing The Rubber
GAME 1 | RHP Tyler Delong (1-1, 6.23 ERA) vs. RHP Seth Petry (1-5, 7.76 ERA)
Delong, who began the season in the bullpen, has started the last two Game 1’s for the Govs. He set season-bests in strikeouts (6) and innings pitched (4.2) in a no-decision against Southeast Missouri last week.
Petry gets the call to start the opener in place of Fetner who had been the Skyhawks No. 1 since Opening Day but departed the Skyhawks win against SIUE after 2.2 innings and 5 strikeouts. Petry has two starts this season but is 0-2 with a 15.96 ERA.
GAME 2 | LHP Harley Gollert (1-3, 5.57 ERA) vs. LHP Jacob Smith (1-2, 4.91 ERA)
Gollert is off to a rough start in OVC play despite going 6 innings in each of his first two OVC starts. He has allowed 12 runs (9.00 ERA) in the two starts and has not factored to the decision in either start.
Smith joined the rotation against Eastern Illinois, tossing five scoreless innings, but gave up six runs while striking out six over five innings at SIUE.
GAME 3 | TBA vs. TBA
Austin Peay has used four different pitchers in the No. 3 spot this season with that group combining for a 11.84 ERA in 24.1 innings (3.2 innings pitched per start). Right-hander Drew McIllwain has made the first two Game 3 OVC starts for the Govs, but is 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA (best among starters in OVC play).
RHP Matt Dickey has started each of the past four weekends for UTM, but has just 13 innings pitched in the four starts. He has not pitched more than four innings in any outing this season.
Through The Lineup
Austin Peay State University catcher Jack Alexander extended his reached-safely streak to 26 games with his home run at Vanderbilt, Tuesday. He leads the team with 13 multi-hit outings in 2022 and also has a team-leading 9 multi-RBI games (no other Gov has more than 4 multi-RBI games).
John McDonald returned to the lineup for the first time in 23 games, Saturday, as the designated hitter and provided a game-winning grand slam in his return. He also extended his reached-safely streak to 37 games (16 in 2022) – the 5th longest streak at APSU since 1996. Next up is Ryan Kane’s 40-game reached safely streak during the 2006 season.
When McDonald suffered his injury on March 9th, Ty DeLancey took over at first base and has started the last 13 games. He is batting .286 (18-for-63) with 9 RBI since taking over at first base.
Shortstop John Bolton has a hit in 6 of his last 8 games, and had the APSU Govs lone multi-hit outing at Vanderbilt, Tuesday. He is batting .357 (10-28) during the 8-game stretch, bumping his average up 29 points.
Third baseman Michael Robinson has a hit in his last three games and 6 hits in his last 5 games (.333, 6-18). He also has a pair of doubles in that 5-game stretch, pushing him to 10 doubles in 2022.
Freshman Nathan Barksdale has started in center field the past two games after TJ Foreman left the Govs Game 2 against Southeast Missouri for precautionary reasons. It was the 3rd and 4th starts for Barksdale, who is seeking his first collegiate hit (14 AB).
Left fielder Gino Avros saw an 8-game hit streak stopped in the Southeast Missouri series finale but bounced back with a RBI double for the APSU Govs first run at Vanderbilt, Tuesday. He is batting .311 (14-45) in 10 games since March 19th with 9 RBI and 5 doubles – tying Jack Alexander for the team and OVC lead with 15 doubles.
Harrison Brown has started 8 consecutive games, including 5 straight in right field. He extended his hit streak to 3 games at Vanderbilt and is batting .364 (4-11) during the streak, including going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and 2 home runs in Sunday’s SEMO series finale – his first collegiate multi-homer game.
Follow The APSU Govs
Austin Peay State University baseball fans can follow along by visiting PeayStats.com for live scoring through the series or get important game updates on Twitter by following @GovsBSB.