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Austin Peay Govs Baseball hosts UT Martin in three-game OVC set

Austin Peay vs. UT Martin

April 27th-29th, 2018 | 6:00pm, 4:00pm, 1:00pm
Clarksville, TN | Raymond C. Hand Park

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – The final month of Austin Peay baseball’s 2018 regular season kicks off when it hosts UT Martin in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series, Friday-Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.

A 6:00pm, Friday first pitch will start the three-game set with Coca-Cola sponsoring the game and Fuse Fireworks presenting a fireworks show following the contest.

Austin Peay Baseball hosts UT Martin this weekend for a three game series starting Friday. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Baseball hosts UT Martin this weekend for a three game series starting Friday. (APSU Sports Information)

The series continues with  a 4:00pm, Saturday contest that also is Stephen Huff Lung Cancer Awareness Day. Family Fun Day at The Hand wraps up the weekend along with a 1:00pm, Sunday start.

Austin Peay has made the most of its weekend play this season, winning the series in nine of the 10 previous weekends. The Governors bring an enviable 21-9 weekend record into the series against UT Martin. That has helped the Govs enter the weekend fifth in a very close OVC race, with the toughest part of their league schedule behind them.

UT Martin has won three of its last four, including an OVC series victory against SIU Edwardsville last weekend, to snap a 17-game losing streak. The Skyhawks sit just one game out of the OVC Top 8 – and a tournament spot – as they travel to Clarksville.

Ticket Information

Single-game tickets and 15-game flex packages for Austin Peay baseball are available by calling the Governors Athletics Ticket office at 931.221.PEAY [7329] or online at LetsGoPeay.com/SportTix [2]

The Suite Life

Fans interested in more information or renting an Austin Peay-themed boxLIFE suite for the season, a weekend or a game should complete the online form available at LetsGoPeay.com or contact Mike Minyard [3], Associate Athletics Director at minyardm@apsu.edu [4]. Suites may be rented each weekend series ($1,000 per weekend) or on a single-game basis.

First Hacks

Austin Peay is ranked No. 89 in the NCAA’s April 26th RPI rankings. The Govs have recorded six or more walks 18 times this season and they rank 13th nationally with 224 base on balls (5.46 per game). Austin Peay also is ranked among the nation’s Top 20 in both doubles per game (2.32, 8th) and scoring (7.5 runs per game, 12th) entering the week.

APSU Baseball - Parker Phillips [5]First baseman Parker Phillips [6] has enjoyed the arrival of April, batting .487 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 11 games during the month; he has vaulted into the Division I ranking in homers (32nd, 11) and RBI (28th, 45). Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli [7] did not reach base safely at Middle Tennessee, Tuesday, just the second time in his 40 games played he has been held off base this season; however, he remains ranked among Division I’s leaders in both total doubles (8th, 18) and batting average (79th, .366).

Shortstop Garrett Kueber [8] is batting .418 (21-51) with 15 RBI in his last 14 games with an at-bat, opening with back-to-back four-hit outings on March 18th and 20th, but has not played since April 15 due to injury. Infielder Bobby Head [9] has started four games at shortstop in Kueber’s stead but saw an eight-game reached safely streak end at Middle Tennessee, Tuesday.

2018 APSU Baseball - Malcolm Tipler [10]Third baseman Malcolm Tipler [11] became the regular third baseman in the Govs OVC opener at Jacksonville State, March 9th, and is batting .287 (31-108) with a team-best 27 runs scored in the 28 games since. Center fielder Imani Willis [12] has batted .345 (10-29) with 11 RBI in the Govs last eight games, including five extra base hits (two homers).

Left fielder Kyle Wilson [13] owns a five-game hit streak entering the weekend, batting .389 (8-20) with four RBI, two doubles and a home run during the streak; he also has an 11-game reached safely streak. Right fielder Nick Walker [14] had a home run in each game of the Morehead State series, finishing the weekend batting .357 (5-14) with three homers and seven RBI; he has reached base in 13 consecutive games.

Catchers David Martinez [16] and Alex Sala [17] have split starts behind the plate since March 6th, Martinez and Sala each making 13 starts while Phillips has three starts in that 29-game span; they have combined to hit .250 with five home runs (three by Sala, two by Martinez) and 22 RBI in starts at catcher.

The 2018 Govs offense is a collectively young group with only 15 years of Division I experience between the 20 available position players entering the season. Since the start of OVC play 16 different Govs hitters have started a game and only Tipler and Willis have played each of the 27 games since the March 9th OVC opener.

Toeing the Rubber

2018 APSU Baseball - Michael Costanzo [18]Left hander Michael Costanzo [19] has seven wins in his 10 starts (all as the Govs No. 1) this season and Austin Peay is 9-1 in his starts. He will look to build on a stellar start at Morehead State that saw him toss seven scoreless and pitch a career-high eight innings, allowing one run.

Lefty Jacques Pucheu [20] has five wins in his 10 starts (all as the Govs No. 2) this season and Austin Peay is 9-1 in his starts. He enters the weekend seeking back-to-back wins for the second time this season after winning at Morehead State last weekend.

Right-hander Brandon Vial [21] is scheduled to start Game 3 for the fourth consecutive week. He has been the hard-luck loser twice in his last three starts despite posting a  5.40 ERA as the Govs have averaged just 3.7 runs in those three games.

Govs pitchers have 314 strikeouts in 357 innings (7.92 K/9) this season after amassing a record-tying 466 strikeouts (8.07 K/9) last season.

On Deck

Austin Peay continues its four-game homestand with a 6:00pm, Tuesday contest against Western Kentucky. It is the only regular season meeting between the two teams in 2018.