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Austin Peay Govs road trip continues with OVC set at Murray State

Austin Peay at Murray State

Friday-Sunday, March 20th-22nd, 2015
Murray, KY | Reagan Field

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – The third week of the Ohio Valley Conference schedule will see Austin Peay’s baseball team play its first conference series away from its home park as it travels to Murray State for a three-game set. The Govs and Racers are scheduled to begin the series with a 3:00pm, Friday contest.

The series continues with a 2:00pm, Saturday matchup before a concluding 1:00pm, Sunday contest.

Austin Peay Baseball plays three game series at Murray State. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Baseball plays three game series at Murray State. (APSU Sports Information)

The Govs are battling through a tough stretch that has seen them lose three of their last four games, including a 2-1 series loss to Jacksonville State, last weekend. Still, Austin Peay (4-2) is third in the OVC’s standings after two weeks, behind SIUE (6-0) and Belmont (2-0).

Austin Peay saw both its offense and defense struggle in the series against Jacksonville State. The Govs offense was held to a season-low five hits in the opener and a .265 batting average for the series. Meanwhile, the APSU pitching staff surrendered 28 runs – the most in a three-game set this season – allowing JSU to post a .357 batting average.

The 200th baseball game between the Racers and Govs will be played in this weekend’s series. Murray State claimed a 100-97 series lead after posting its first-ever three-game sweep against Austin Peay last season.

First Hacks

Austin Peay has not wanted for scoring opportunities this season, with 263 plate appearances with a runner in scoring position during the season’s first 17 games.

APSU's Garrett Copeland [2]The Govs offense enters the weekend as one of the nation’s top doubles-producing team, averaging 2.88 doubles per game (49 total, 2nd in Division I) and are among Division I’s Top 50 in scoring per game (45th, 6.8 rpg), average (40th, .296) slugging percentage (37th, .435) and on-base percentage (50th, .383).

Second baseman Garrett Copeland [3] has reached base safely in 15 consecutive games and leads APSU with 9 multi-hit outings this season. Shortstop Clayton Smithson [4]‘s 9-game hit streak is the longest active streak among Govs hitters entering the weekend. Designated hitter Alex Robles [5] leads the Govs with 17 RBI – 5th most among OVC hitters.

APSU's Dre Gleason [6]First baseman Dre Gleason [7] has started the last 5 games and is batting .350 with 3 doubles during that stretch. Catcher Ridge Smith [8] has a hit in 5 of his last 6 games, but is batting just .176 during March. Third baseman Logan Gray [9] also has had his struggles in March, batting just .250 with no RBI during the month. Left fielder Cayce Bredlau [10] went 2-for-12 (.167) in last week’s four games, dropping his average to .294.

Both center and left field have been unsettled during March with 3 players started in center and 4 starting in right during the month’s 9 games. Outfielder Patrick Massoni [11] has started at all 3 outfield positions in 2015. Outfielder Chase Hamilton [12] has made 4 starts in center this month, batting 3-for-14 (.214) as a starter.

Austin Peay was picked to finish fourth in the OVC’s preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors. Austin Peay finished 2014 with a 23-33 overall record, starting seven freshman for the bulk of the campaign.

The Govs fell out of the OVC’s six-team tournament field on the regular season’s final day, a 4-3 loss at SIUE dropping it to 14-16 and seventh place in league action.

Toeing The Rubber

Austin Peay will continue to use the same trio for the third consecutive week, only changing the rotation’s order. Alex Robles [5] will remain the Govs No. 1 for a third straight week but is looking for his first start of six innings or more. Jared Carkuff [14] moves up into the No. 2 spot after spending the first two OVC weekends in the No. 3 role.

Caleb Powell [15] slides into the No. 3 spot with his spotless 3-0 record after the Govs posted a come-from-behind win last week after he left the mound. Four Govs pitchers have recorded a save in 2015, righthanders A.J. Gaura [16] and Robles each recording 2 this season.

Date Austin Peay’s Pitcher
Start Opponent’s Pitcher
Fri. RHP Alex Robles [5] (#5, So., 0-1. 3.80 ERA)
3 p.m. LHP Brock Downey (#24, Sr., 2-3, 5.16 ERA)
Sat. RHP Jared Carkuff [14] (#16, Jr., 2-3, 4.94 ERA)
2 p.m. RHP Brad Boegel (#17, Jr., 0-1, 5.08 ERA)
Sun. RHP Caleb Powell [15] (#21, So., 3-0, 6.10 ERA)
1 p.m. TBA
CLOSER RHP A.J. Gaura [16] (#36, RSr., 0-0, 2 SV, 3.60 ERA)
TBA

Broadcast Information

Weekend Radio • Governors Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Van Stokes

Midweek Audio • Govs Digital Passport
Play-by-Play: Cody Bush

Digital Audio • Govs Digital Passport
Audio for all APSU Baseball contests will be available free online at www.LetsGoPeay.com/watch

Governors on the Web

Live Statistics: www.PeayStats.com
Twitter: @APSUBaseball

Video – Ridge Smith