Austin Peay Govs get finals week test at Vanderbilt, Tuesday
Austin Peay (20-21, 11-12 OVC) at Vanderbilt (26-17, 10-10 SEC)
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 | 7:00pm CT
Nashville, TN | Hawkins Field
Clarksville, TN – With its surging offense in tow, Austin Peay State University’s baseball team will get a finals week test when it meets Vanderbilt in a 7:00pm, Tuesday contest at Hawkins Field in Nashville.
The Govs bats pounded out 52 runs during last week’s four games while posting a .365 batting average and hitting eight home runs.
The outburst pushed the Govs to the No. 22 ranked offense nationally (up 23 spots in a week), averaging 7.41 runs per game.
Austin Peay Baseball takes on Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tuesday. (APSU Sports Information)
However, that offense will get tested against a Vanderbilt squad that boasts a pitching staff ranked 39th nationally in earned-run average (3.61) and 22nd in walks and hits allowed per inning (1.23).
Austin Peay and Vanderbilt will meet for the 78th time, Tuesday, in a series that dates back to 1938. The Commodores hold a 51-24-2 advantage all time, but the teams have split the last four meetings. The series took a five-season hiatus before being revived last season in a game Vanderbilt won 8-5 after Austin Peay leveled the game 5-5 in the top of the seventh.
APSU: RHP Caleb Powell (2-3, 6.80 ERA)
VU: RHP Chandler Day (6-1, 3.48 ERA)
Senior utility man Alex Robles was named the adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, Monday. In Saturday’s series finale at UT Martin he was the winning pitcher (first start since April 7th) and hit for the cycle as part of a 5-for-5 outing at the plate.
Redshirt junior Cayce Bredlau has reached safely in 11 consecutive games (.417 OBP) and returned to the Govs during the UT Martin series after missing five games due to an upper body injury. Junior second baseman Garrett Giovannelli has a 12-game hit streak (23-for-53, .442 BA, 10 BB, .532 OBP) since moving into the leadoff spot against Belmont.
Senior first baseman Dre Gleason was one of 40 players named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Watch List, April 12th. Gleason enters the midweek contest with a five-game hit streak (5-for-18, .277 BA, 4 RBI, 4 BB). Senior right fielder Chase Hamilton has five home runs in his last 11 games and is batting .298 batting average (14-for-47) in that stretch.
Sophomore Brett Newberg has started five of the last seven games as the Govs designated hitter and has two home runs (.668 SLG) and seven walks (.500 OBP) in those outings. Redshirt freshman Parker Phillips started two games at catcher against UT Martin and batted .333 (3-for-9) with two doubles and two RBI.
Sophomore catcher Alex Sala came off the bench in Friday’s contest at UT Martin and hit a pinch-hit three-run home run, his third home run this season.
Freshman utility man Malcolm Tipler is batting .438 (7-for-16) with six RBI and four walk during his current four-game hit streak.
Junior center fielder Imani Willis is batting .385 (10-for-26) with 11 runs scored over the last eight games. Junior shortstop Kyle Wilson is batting .400 (8-for-20) with six RBI during his current four-game hit streak, raising his season average 27 points.
The Govs finished the weekend ranked No. 4 in home runs per game (1.56) among Division I teams. Austin Peay has hit 20 home runs over its last 12 games with senior right fielder Chase Hamilton supplying five home runs during that span. They also remain ranked sixth in total home runs (64), seventh in slugging percentage (.497) and are now ranked 19th in doubles per game (2.17).
Junior Garrett Giovannelli became the 14th different Govs batter to hit a home run in 2017, extending the program record for most players with a home run in a season. Austin Peay’s 64 home runs ranks fourth most in program history with 12 regular-season games remaining.
The APSU record is 72 home runs (2001) followed by 70 (1999) and 65 (2016). The Govs record pace is 1.25 home runs per game set in 1999 (70 HR/56 GP). APSU hit a Raymond C. Hand Park record six home runs against Tennessee Tech, March 25th.
Toeing the Rubber
Senior Caleb Powell has been penciled in for the midweek start at Vanderbilt, it will be his first start since an April 1st outing at Southeast Missouri.
He is 2-3 with a 7.47 ERA in his seven previous starts this season, registering 19 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched.
APSU pitchers continue their torrid strikeout pace, racking up 337 Ks through 369.2 innings this season. Their 8.20 strikeout rate would be just the third time in program history a Govs pitching staff has averaged more than 8 strikeouts per nine innings and ranks 81st nationally.
Next Up for APSU Baseball
The Govs return home to start a four-game homestand, beginning with their final home weekend series against OVC foe SIU Edwardsville, Friday-Sunday. The fifth-place Govs will look to continue their climb up the league standings against the Cougars.
Follow APSU Baseball
For additional coverage of Austin Peay’s baseball team, follow the Govs on Twitter @AustinPeayBSB. Austin Peay’s athletics department also maintains several social media accounts @LetsGoPeay (Twitter), /LetsGoPeay (Facebook) and /LetsGoPeay (Instagram).