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Austin Peay Govs open 26th OVC Tournament appearance with Wednesday morning affair

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team makes its third-straight and 26th all-time appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference’s Baseball Championship when it meets Jacksonville State in a 9:00am, Wednesday contest at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama.

Austin Peay Baseball opens OVC Tournament Wednesday morning against Jacksonville State at Choccolocco Park. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Baseball opens OVC Tournament Wednesday morning against Jacksonville State at Choccolocco Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Every game of the tournament can be viewed for free online by visiting the OVC Digital Network website.

Links for all digital products involving the Governors are available on LetsGoPeay.com – the official website of Austin Peay athletics.

Govs Quintet Earns OVC Honors

2018 APSU Baseball - Michael Costanzo [2]Five Govs players, led by First-Team All-OVC starting pitcher Michael Costanzo [3], received postseason recognition from the OVC’s coaches and baseball sports information directors, Tuesday.

First baseman Parker Phillips [4], second baseman Garrett Giovannelli [5] and starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu [6] were awarded Second-Team All-OVC status.

In addition, pitcher Harley Gollert [7] was named to the OVC’s All-Freshman team.

Tourney Tags

Five Govs players will be making their third tourney appearance: Michael Costanzo [3], Brett Newberg [8], Josh Rye [9], Alex Sala [10] and Imani Willis [11].

Austin Peay has appeared in the tournament in each of head coach Travis Janssen [12]‘s first three seasons, compiling a 4-4 record in the previous two showings.

The Govs have won their last three tourney-opening games.

First Hacks

Austin Peay also is ranked among the nation’s Top 20 in doubles per game (12th, 2.20), total home runs (20th, 65), scoring (13th, 7.3 runs per game) and total walks (10th, 294) entering the tournament.

2018 APSU Baseball - Parker Phillips [13]First baseman Parker Phillips [4] has been on a tear in the season’s second half, leading APSU with a .392 batting average, 15 home runs and 35 RBI since April 1st; he is ranked among Division I’s Top 20 in home runs (5th, 19) and RBI per game (20th, 1.18).

Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli [5] has reached base in 52 of the 54 games he has played this season; he is ranked among Division I’s leaders in both total doubles (4th, 25) and runs scored (21st, 58).

Third baseman Garrett Kueber [14] has a hit in eight of his 10 games since his return to the lineup, May 5th, and a RBI in seven of those contests.

Shortstop Bobby Head [15] is batting .345 (10-29) with a team-best 10 RBI in May, including his first collegiate home run at Clemson, May 11th.

2018 APSU Baseball - Nick Walker [16]Center fielder Imani Willis [11] has eight hits in May, four of those going for extra bases, and has two of his four sac bunts.

Outfielder Kyle Wilson [17] has reached base safely in 25 straight games dating back to April 6 and is batting .323 (31-96) with 16 RBI, 10 doubles and three home runs during the streak.

Right fielder Nick Walker [18] seeks a return to his April form that saw him bat .361 with five home runs and 18 RBI during the month’s 16 games.

Catcher Alex Sala [10] has earned 10 walks in his 10 May appearances, posting a .353 on-base percentage.

Catcher David Martinez [19] is batting .300 in his five May outings, including a 2-for-3 outing against Eastern Illinois that saw him hit a double and home run.

Infielder Malcolm Tipler [21] returned to the lineup as the Govs designated hitter against Eastern Illinois after missing seven games due to injury and was 3-for-9 with a RBI in the series.

First baseman John McDonald [22] was the starting designated hitter in six games during Tipler’s absence and has batted .292 with a home run and three RBI in eight May outings.

Toeing The Rubber

Starters Michael Costanzo [3] (17.1 IP), Jacques Pucheu [6] (17.0), Josh Rye [9] (16.1) and reliever Brett Newberg [8] (14.0) have combined to toss more than two-thirds of the total innings (96) in the month.

Lefties Michael Costanzo [3] and Jacques Pucheu [6] have become a formidable 1-2 punch for the Governors this season, starting the first two games of every weekend series.

Costanzo has opened every series in 2018 and compiled an 9-1 record and 4.27 ERA; he is the second Govs pitcher to record 100 strikeouts in a season.

2018 APSU Baseball - Brandon Vial [23]Pucheu has been an equal partner in weekend play at the No. 2 spot, posting a 7-3 record, 3.98 ERA and striking out 95.

Left-hander Josh Rye [9] made the Game 3 start in the Govs final regular-season contest and has posted a 4.95 ERA and 15 strikeouts in his last four starts, all since April 24th.

Right-hander Brandon Vial [24] made five consecutive starts as the Govs No. 3 prior to missing the regular-season finale for precautionary reasons. He compiled a 5.70 ERA and held opponents to a .274 batting average in those five starts.