Clarksville, TN – The second half of Ohio Valley Conference play begins this weekend for Austin Peay’s baseball team as it completes a seven-game slate against Illinois-based teams when it meets SIU Edwardsville in a three-game series, Friday-Sunday, in Edwardsville, Illinois. The slate is set to begin with a Friday 5:00pm contest followed by outings both Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm.
The APSU Govs enter the weekend as the OVC’s top-ranked offense in league play, posting a .327 batting average and averaging 7.3 runs per game in a 7-5 start. Right fielder Harrison Brown has sparked that effort with a .396 batting average that ranks fifth among league hitters. Catcher Jack Alexander, who leads the league with a .381 batting average in all games, is batting .380 in OVC play to rank eighth.
SIUE boasts the league’s No. 2 pitching staff with a 4.38 ERA, behind league-leading Southeast Missouri (4.24 ERA). The Cougars offense is ranked fifth in the OVC with a .278 batting average and averaging 6.0 runs per game. Right fielder Avery Owusu-Asiedu is leading the way with a .378 batting average in nine games, ranking ninth in OVC action.
Toeing The Rubber
GAME 1 | RHP Tyler Delong (2-1, 5.29) vs. RHP Brant Glidewell (2-2, 5.06)
Thrust into the No. 1 spot to begin OVC play, Delong has improved week after week, posting a 1-1 record with 18 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched. He held Eastern Illinois to three runs in 4.2 innings last week but did not factor into the decision. After opening OVC play by holding Southeast Missouri to one hit in a loss, Glidewell enters this weekend still searching for his first OVC win despite posting a 3.54 ERA that is ninth in the OVC. He has received just 2.7 runs of support in those three OVC starts.
GAME 2 | LHP Harley Gollert (2-3, 4.92) vs. LHP Kaid Karnes (3-3, 2.32)
Gollert has been the Govs steady hand, ranking second in OVC play with 23.0 innings pitched (5.2 per start) and is fourth with 22 strikeouts. However, he is 1-0 (win at UT Martin) with a 5.87 ERA in league action. Karns has posted an OVC-best 1.40 ERA in his three OVC starts, including back-to-back scoreless outings for wins against UT Martin and Eastern Illinois.
GAME 3 | RHP Drew McIllwain (3-4, 6.95) vs. RHP Collin Baumgartner (2-2, 4.85)
McIllwain has impressed in OVC play, ranking second in opponent’s batting average (.200) and third in strikeouts (23) in four OVC starts. Yet, he is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in league outings this season. Baumgartner will make his first start since April 2 at UT Martin when he went 2.0 innings before departing. Prior to that he lost back-to-back decisions at Memphis and at Southeast Missouri, posting a 6.75 ERA in 9.1 innings.
Through The Lineup
The Austin Peay State University offense is on a tear over the past six games, posting a .379 batting average (86-227) and averaging 10.1 runs per game (61 runs). They have posted 17 doubles and 7 home runs for a .546 slugging percentage and own a .451 on-base percentage.
APSU catcher Jack Alexander extended his reached-safely streak to 33 games – the eighth-longest reached-safely streak in program history and one behind Greg Troy’s 34-game streak. He also owns an 8-game hit streak with one hit in each of his last five games to keep the streak alive.
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 is batting .286 (26-for-91) with 17 RBI since taking over at first base. He brings a 6-game hit streak into the weekend.
Beginning with his 4-for-4 outing against Eastern Kentucky, on March 13th, utility man Gino Avros is batting .400 (34-85) with 18 RBI and 11 doubles – taking the team lead in doubles (18). He made his first career start at second base against Southern Illinois, the sixth different position he has played in his career.
Austin Peay State University second baseman Jonah Beamon saw a five-game hit streak end in the Eastern Illinois series finale. He has a hit in 6 of his last 8 games (.290, 9-31) with 2 home runs and 6 RBI.
Third baseman Michael Robinson saw his a 9-game hit streak (.375, 12-32) end against Southern Illinois, Tuesday. One of the more consistent bats in the APSU Govs lineup, his average has not dipped below .322 this season.
Right fielder Harrison Brown extended his hit streak to a career-best 10 games (.425, 17-40), Tuesday. In the 15 games since he rejoined the starting lineup he is batting .362 (21-58) with 2 home runs and 8 RBI.
Center fielder Skyler Luna extended his hit streak to 3 games, Tuesday, one shy of his career-best set in 2020. He is batting .417 (5-12) with a double and 3 runs scored during the current streak.
Right fielder TJ Foreman returned to the starting lineup, Tuesday, and once again hit a home run in his return as part of a 2-for-4, 3 RBI performance against the Salukis.
Follow The APSU Govs
Fans that wish to follow along at home may visit PeayStats.com for live scoring through the series or get important game updates on Twitter by following @GovsBSB.