Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team continues a seven-game stretch against Illinois-based teams when it hosts Southern Illinois in a Tuesday contest at 6:00pm on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The Governors opened the seven-game Illinois run by losing a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against Eastern Illinois last weekend, 2-1. Meanwhile, Southern Illinois won two games in a weather-shortened series against SIU Edwardsville last weekend, improving to 7-1 against OVC teams this season.
Outfielder J.T. Weber leads a red-hot Southern Illinois offense, batting .408 with 14 home runs. Shortstop Kaeber Rog has a team-best 16 doubles and a .395 batting average while outfielder Nathan Bandy is batting .383. The Salukis rank 20th among Division I teams with a .307 batting average and 19th nationally in slugging percentage (.504).
In the season’s earlier meeting, Southern Illinois no-hit Austin Peay State University en route to a 10-0 victory, on February 22nd in Carbondale. Weber, reserve third baseman Darren Taylor and infielder Cody Cleveland each had home runs to lead SIU. The APSU Govs earned five walks in the contest, first baseman John McDonald leading that effort with two free passes.
New To The Hand
Austin Peay State University’s athletics department made two major changes to improve the fan experience this spring at Raymond C. Hand Park. First, new netting was installed that extends from dugout to dugout and is 30 feet high to protect the seating area and hillsides behind both dugouts. Fans are reminded foul balls may still enter the seating area but the new netting should provide a safer experience.
In addition, new chairback seating was installed behind home plate. The new reserved seating area provides additional seating space for fans along with cup holders for their ice-cold Coca-Cola products.
Single-game tickets are still available for remaining 13 games on the home slate. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance by visiting LetsGoPeay.com/BuyTickets or by calling the APSU Athletics Ticket Office at 931.221.PEAY (7329). The ticket window at Raymond C. Hand Park opens one hour prior to first pitch each day.
Follow The APSU Govs
Tuesday’s game is available on ESPN+. Fans wishing to follow along more discreetly may visit PeayStats.com for live scoring through the series or get important game updates on Twitter by following @GovsBSB.
On The Mound
RHP Sebastian Martinez (1-2, 13.50 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Combs (2-0, 4.84 ERA)
Martinez will make his third start of 2022 after starting against Lipscomb (March 8th) and Eastern Kentucky (March 13th). He opened the season with four scoreless relief innings against Boston College and has made 11 appearances this season, but none since an April 5th outing at Vanderbilt.
Combs is making his fifth start this season and has 27 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. He has four appearances against OVC opponents this season and is 2-0 with a 5.65 ERA in those outings with 16 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.
Through The Lineup
Austin Peay State University catcher Jack Alexander extended his reached-safely streak to 32 games and his hit streak hit 7 games after the weekend series against Eastern Illinois. It is tied for the eighth-longest reached-safely streak in program history (Garrett Copeland, 2015). Greg Troy’s 34-game streak is seventh on the list.
John McDonald saw his reached-safely streak end at 39 games (18 in 2022) – the 5th longest streak at APSU since 1996 – when he was held without a hit in a pinch-hit outing in the EIU series opener. He bounced back with his first 3-hit day this season as the starting designated hitter in Game 2 of the set.
When McDonald suffered his injury on March 9th, Ty DeLancey took over at first base and has started the last 22 games. He is batting .276 (24-for-87) with 17 RBI since taking over at first base. In addition, DeLancey has a hit and RBI in each of his last five games.
APSU second baseman Jonah Beamon saw a five-game hit streak end in the UTM series finale. He has a hit in 6 of his last 8 games (.290, 9-31) with 2 home runs and 6 RBI.
Shortstop John Bolton has a hit in 11 of the 14 games since the start of OVC play, March 25th, including 6 multi-hit outings. He is batting .340 (17-50) with 5 doubles, and 6 RBI over those 14 games.
Right fielder Harrison Brown also has a 9-game hit streak (.444, 16-36) entering Tuesday’s game, with three 3-hit outings. In the 14 games since he rejoined the starting lineup he is batting .370 (20-54) with 2 home runs and 8 RBI.
Beginning with his 4-for-4 outing against Eastern Kentucky, March 13th, left fielder Gino Avros is batting .383 (31-81) with 16 RBI and 10 doubles – taking the team lead in doubles (17). He was held to 2-of-7 at the plate against EIU but earned 6 walks (.615 on-base percentage).
Center fielder Skyler Luna started 2 of the 3 games in the EIU series and was 3-for-8 (.375) with a double and sac fly in the series. It was his first starts in center field since March 20.