Clarksville, TN – If you were to ask any baseball or softball coach, including Austin Peay State University’s head baseball coach Travis Janssen or head softball coach Rodney DeLong, they would both tell you just how much pitching matters to a successful and winning team.
And while it is still very early-on in their respective season’s, both seem to have pitching staffs put together that can answer the challenges facing them and give their respective teams a chance to win ball games.
Austin Peay Baseball and Softball teams have begun the season with solid pitching. (APSU Sports Information)
The Governors baseball team is 8-3 so far in 2018 after taking two-of-three at home versus Indiana State this past weekend, while the Governors softball team is 6-7 overall after making its first in-season tournament championship game in 24 years at Western Kentucky this past weekend.
And what jumps out at you when you look at their respective stats from the season so far … their pitching numbers.
For baseball, yes, their team earned run average of 6.45 only ranks them ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference, but their strikeout total is just two k’s short of tying for the team lead in the OVC.
Adding to that is the fact the Govs have three of the Top-10 pitchers in the conference when it comes to opponent’s batting average’s in Michael Costanzo (.169), Jacques Pucheu (.219) and Brett Newberg (.222), with the Govs pitching staff only allowing opponents to hit at a pedestrian .272 clip so far this season.
For softball, it has been the one-two-punch of Morgan Rackel and Kelly Mardones of late that has the Governors moving in the right direction, with both posting earned run averages under 2.5 so far this season, something that hasn’t been approached by two pitchers for APSU in the same year since the mid-1990’s.
And while those numbers are solid in of themselves, they seem to be hitting their stride of late.
This past week where the Govs posted a 5-2 overall mark, Rackel’s ERA was a microscopic 0.65, while opponents only managed a .188 batting average against her, while Mardones’ numbers weren’t shabby with a 1.24 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .242.
And all of this comes as both team’s statistical top returning pitchers from 2017 – Josh Rye (baseball) and Kelsey Gross (softball) – have gotten off to slower starts to their season’s than expected, but once they turn the corner and get back to more of the form they had in 2017 things could really be looking up for great spring seasons from baseball and softball.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
SectionsAssociations, Austin Peay State University, Baseball, Colleges, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Softball, Sports
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Brett Newberg, Clarksville TN, Governors, Govs, Indiana State, Jacques Pucheu, Josh Rye, Kelly Mardones, Kelsey Gross, Michael Costanzo, Morgan Rackel, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Rodney DeLong, Travis Janssen, Western Kentucky