Clarksville, TN – The eighth-seeded Austin Peay State University baseball team makes its 29th, and final, appearance in the OVC Baseball Championship when it opens the tournament with a Wednesday 8:00pm CT contest against fifth-seeded SIU Edwardsville at Wild Health Field in Lexington, Kentucky.
Wednesday’s four games are each single elimination contests. The winner of the Governors-Cougars contest will advance to face No. 4 seed Eastern Illinois on Wednesday at 3:00pm CT.
Center fielder TJ Foreman has led the Govs in 11 May games, batting .380 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Catcher Jack Alexander has home runs in four of his last six games entering the tournament, batting .417 with eight RBI in those six games.
Shortstop John Bolton also closed the regular-season strong with a six-game hit streak entering the postseason, including his first home run in a Governors uniform in Saturday’s regular-season finale.
Inside The Championship
The Series: 28 previous appearances. APSU is 48-45 all time in the tourney.
Last Season: APSU was the No. 4 seed and went 1-2 in the 2021 edition.
Notably: Austin Peay State University is making its sixth-consecutive OVC Baseball Championship appearance. The Govs are 7-10 during their current stretch of tournament appearances.
All-Time Against the Field:
- #5 SIU Edwardsville (First Meeting)
- #4 Eastern Illinois (4-1, last met in 2012)
- #1 Belmont (2-1, last met in 2017)
- #2 Southeast Missouri (4-10, last met in 2021)
- #3 Morehead State (4-4, last met in 2021)
- #6 Tennessee Tech (5-6, last met in 2013)
- #7 Murray State (5-4, last met in 2021)
Toeing The Rubber
Tyler Delong (RHP, 4-3, 5.88 ERA, 54 K/56.2 IP) enters the tournament after seeing a two-game win streak halted with a loss to Morehead State. The two runs of support he received against the Eagles were his fewest this season, with the APSU Govs providing 5.9 runs per game in his starts. Prior to the loss, Delong had consecutive wins against Murray State and Tennessee Tech and also had a win against UT Martin this season
Harley Gollert (LHP, 2-7, 6.14 ERA, 83 K/77.2 IP) is seeking his first win since April 9th at UT Martin. He was 1-3 in 8 OVC starts while receiving 6.36 runs of support per game. Gollert posted more strikeouts than innings pitched in eight of his 14 starts in 2022. He became ninth Governors pitcher to record 200 career strikeouts against Murray State, May 7.
Drew McIllwain (RHP, 4-6, 8.66 ERA, 61 K/62.1 IP) did not record a decision in his last two starts and did not make it past the fourth inning in either outing. His last win was a quality start against Murray State, May 8th, where he struck out a season-high nine batters over six innings. McIllwain has three quality starts this season, tied with Gollert for most on the Govs staff in 2022.
Through The Lineup
Austin Peay State University catcher Jack Alexander, a First-Team All-OVC selection, closed the regular season with home runs in back-to-back games against Morehead State. His 13 home runs are tied for 13th most in a single season at APSU. Alexander also enters the postseason with 23 runners caught stealing, 4th all time at APSU.
First baseman John McDonald brings a five-game hit streak into the tournament. He is batting .300 (6-20) during the streak with three walks.
Second baseman Ty DeLancey closed the regular season with four hits in his last two games. During May’s 11 games he has 12 base hits with 7 going for extra bases with 4 doubles, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI. DeLancey also reached base in his last 17 OVC games.
Shortstop John Bolton recorded a hit in each of his last 11 OVC games. He finished the 24-game OVC slate with a .341 batting aveage, 11 doubles, and 21 runs scored
Third baseman Michael Robinson looks to shake off a hitless weekend against Morehead State when Austin Peay State University opens OVC Tournament play. It was the first time he was held hitless in a weekend series this season.
Outfielder TJ Foreman brings an eight-game hit streak into the tournament. He has a hit in 20 of the 21 games since his return to the lineup, April 15th. He is batting .444 (36-81) with 6 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs, and 21 runs scored in those 21 games.
Outfielder Harrison Brown closed the regular season with a hit in all three games of the Morehead State series and in 6 of the final 7 games. That stretch includes a pinch-hit three-run home run at Tennessee Tech, May 14th.
Outfielder Jeremy Wagner was the Austin Peay State University starting right fielder in the regular-season finale and started 8 of the final 10 games in right field.
Tyler Cotto started twice as the APSU Govs designated hitter and appeared in all three games of the Morehead State series. He owns a 5-game hit streak entering the postseason and is batting .545 (6-11) with 3 RBI during the streak.
Previously In The OVC Tournament
Gino Avros, John McDonald and Luke Brown have played in the Govs last two tournament outings (2019 and 2021). Avros and McDonald have seven games played in the tournament while Brown has made three tourney pitching appearances.
Avros’ first home run as a Governor came in the 2019 tournament in Marion, Illinois. He also had a home run in last season’s tournament en route to earning OVC All-Tournament honors.
McDonald and Jack Alexander each had 5 hits and 3 RBI in last year’s tournament at Jackson, Tennessee.
Drew McIllwain was named to the OVC All-Tournament team last season after holding Morehead State to 1 run over 7.1 innings in an elmination-game win.
Follow The APSU Govs
All nine OVC Tournament games will be available on ESPN+ courtesy the Ohio Valley Conference. 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.