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Streaking Austin Peay Govs look to keep rolling at Southeast Missouri

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Riding its longest win streak of the 2019 campaign, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team will seek to maintain its momentum when it faces Southeast Missouri in a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series, Friday-Sunday, at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Austin Peay Baseball looks to extend win streak this weekend at Southeastern Missouri. (APSU Sports Information) [1]

Austin Peay Baseball looks to extend win streak this weekend at Southeastern Missouri. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay State University extended its win streak to four games with its 5-3 victory at Western Kentucky, Tuesday, a game that provided its second road victory in 2019.

The Govs starting pitching has been the star during the win streak, surrendering just one earned run in the four games (0.41 ERA) with 32 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched (13.09 K/9).

Southeast Missouri is 11-5 at Capaha Field this season, but enters the third week of league play seeking its first OVC series victory. The Redhawks have won the opening game in its series against UT Martin and SIUE only to drop the final two games of each series.

First Hacks

Fifteen different Governors have started a game in the season’s first 18 games. Only two players have started every game in 2019: center fielder Garrett Spain [2], utility man Parker Phillips [3] and shortstop Bobby Head [4].

Entering this week’s action, Austin Peay has played the nation’s 63rd-toughest schedule – and second-toughest among OVC teams.

The Govs have faced three teams with 12 or more wins in 2019: Kentucky (14), Vanderbilt (16) and Indiana State (16).

Center fielder Garrett Spain [2] has reached base in all 18 games as a Governor. He saw his 10-game hit streak snapped at WKU, Tuesday, but his .358 batting average ranks 18th among all Division I freshmen and leads all OVC freshman hitters.

Senior catcher David Martinez [5] opened the season batting .500 in the season’s first 10 games. He has cooled off recently, but is second among Govs hitters with a .373 batting average that is 22nd among Division I catchers.

Junior utility man Parker Phillips [3] has reached base safely in 17 of 18 games this season. He hit his 36th career home run against Tennessee Tech, March 16, and is one homer shy of tying the APSU career home run mark.

Redshirt senior Garrett Kueber [6] has made five consecutive starts at shortstop and coincidentally owns a five-game hit streak. He has batted .368 (7-for-19) during the streak, primarily as the Govs No. 2 hitter.

Freshman Gino Avros [8] has started at third base and hit in the leadoff spot in each of the last five games and has made 14 starts at the hot corner this season. He has scored 13 runs – third most among Govs hitters.

Sophomore Bobby Head [4] did not start at WKU, Tuesday, missing his first start of the 2019 season. He appeared as a defensive substitute and has played in all 18 games.

Freshman designated hitter Matt Joslin [9] has reached base in four of his last five games. He is batting .375 (3-for-8) with a .533 on-base percentage in OVC action.

Since sitting out the Southern Illinois contest, March 12, junior outfielder Malcolm Tipler [10] is batting .364 (4-for-11) with four RBI in the four games since returning to the starting lineup.

Sophomore first baseman John McDonald [11] has a hit in three of his last four at-bats and has reached base in four of his last five plate appearances.

Senior outfielder Aaron Campbell [12] was a late defensive replacement in all three games of the TTU series and supplied a pinch-hit RBI single in Game 3 of the set.

Junior outfielder Griffin Rivers [13] has reached base in each of his last four games, twice via a base hit.

Austin Peay enters the weekend still seeking answers in left field where three different Govs have started. The Govs starting left fielders have just six hits this season.

Toeing The Rubber

Senior left-hander Jacques Pucheu [14] was named the OVC Pitcher of the Week, Monday, after striking out a career-high 12 batters against Tennessee Tech, Saturday, and extending his scoreless innings streak to 22 frames.

Senior lefty Josh Rye [15] pieced together his finest start of 2019 in the Tennessee Tech series opener, March 1th5, tossing five scoreless frames while striking out six batters. It was his third start of five-plus innings this season.

Senior right-hander Brandon Vial [17] closed the Govs series against Tennessee Tech, March 17th, with six scoreless innings while striking out a career-high nine batters. It was his second straight quality start.

Austin Peay starting pitchers have combined for a 7-5 record and 3.36 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 91.0 innings pitched (10.09 K/9).

The Governors bullpen has 71 strikeouts in 67.1 innings (9.49 K/9).

APSU Govs vs. Southeast Missouri

APSU and SEMO have met 94 times prior to this season’s meeting. Southeast Missouri owns a 55-39 lead in the series, including a 23-18 advantage in Cape Girardeau.

The home team has won the last four OVC series between the Govs and Redhawks. Austin Peay last won a series at Capaha Field in 2012.

The Governors have won three of the last four meetings in the series, but the Redhawks won the 2018 series finale to stop the Govs three-game win streak.

Pitching Matchups

Date Austin Peay Starter Opposing Starter
Fri., 3/22 LHP Josh Rye [15] (2-2, 6.30 ERA) LHP Dylan Dodd (4-1, 2.17 ERA)
Sat., 3/23 LHP Jacques Pucheu [14] (3-0, 0.87 ERA) LHP Noah Niznik (2-1, 1.59 ERA)
Sun., 3/24 RHP Brandon Vial [17] (1-2, 2.91 ERA) LHP Daniel Bergtholdt (2-2, 3.70 ERA)