Press Box Ponderings
Week 7 completed, 7 regular-season weeks remain.
Govs Record: 18-10 overall, 6-0 OVC | Streak W-7
Pitcher of the Week Nominee: Casey Delgado
Delgado made his first conference start, Saturday, filling in for injured No. 2 starter Zach Toney. He made the most of the start, leading the Govs to their first nine-inning shutout since 2010. He held the Skyhawks to five hits over seven innings while striking out a career-high seven batters. Delgado notched four of those strikeouts after the Govs offense gave him the lead in the fifth.
Player of the Week Nominee:
Childress had a home run in three of the Govs four contests during the week and was 6-for-12 with 10 RBI. He opened the week with a grand slam against Alabama A&M, Tuesday, and was 1-for-4 with five RBI. Childress opened the UTM series with a pinch-hit two-run home run in Friday's win. He didn't bat in a run, Saturday, but was 2-for-3 at the plate. Childress wrapped up the weekend with a 2-for-4, three RBI outing that included a solo home run and a two-run single. After entering the week batting .140 with two hits in his previous 12 games, he finished the week batting .210 with a four-game hit streak.
Week 6, Notably:
- Break out the Brooms II: Austin Peay swept UT Martin – its second conseutive OVC series sweep – and ran its overall win streak to seven games. It is the first time since 2004 the Govs have opened an OVC campaign with consecutive three-game sweeps. The 6-0 starts in 2004 and now 2012 are the best conference starts in program history. No Austin Peay team has started an OVC season with seven consecutive wins.
- About Win Streaks – Overall: Austin Peay's seven-game win streak is tied for the seventh longest win streak in program history. It is the 15th time Austin Peay has won seven consecutive games. Only six times have they extended the win streak beyond seven games. The 1971 OVC Championship team owns an 11-game win streak that stands as the longest in program history.
- About Win Streaks – OVC: The Govs six-game OVC win streak is the third longest in program history. Austin Peay won seven straight during its memorable 2007 OVC Championship campaign. However, the program-record eight-game win streak is owned by the 2011 squad. Last season's team won eight straight games – the final game at Jacksonville State, sweeps against Morehead State and Tennessee Tech then the first game against Southeast Missouri – en route to the OVC regular-season title.
- Touching Mendoza, continued: Last week, I noted that center fielder Michael Blanchard briefly hit the famed Mendoza line (a .200 batting average for the uninitiated) after an 0-for-4 outing at Lipscomb, March 20. He promptly wrapped up Week 6 going 7-for-13 (.538) in the four remaining games. I can report Blanchard continued on his torrid pace, going 7-for-10 in Week 7. In his last seven games Blanchard has 14 hits and boosted his batting average to a respectable .296 mark.
- Other notable hitting performances in Week 6: Catcher P.J. Torres had five hits in a conference series for the second consecutive week and is batting .455 in league play… Shortstop Reed Harper had seven hits during the week, with three doubles and a triple… Second baseman Jordan Hankins had a home run in the first two games of the UTM series.
- Quick Quality: Sophomore starter Ryan Quick pieced together his 7th consecutive quality start (6+ innings pitched and no more than three earned runs) against UT Martin. He set the tone for the weekend by striking out a career-high nine batters. He surrendered two first-inning runs before shutting the door in impressive fashion. He retired nine consecutive batters before piecing together another streak of eight straight batters. He lasted 7.1 innings allowing four hits.
- Zippy Zach: Senior starter Zach Toney missed the Govs UTM series due to an upper body injury. However, he is only expected to miss last week's action and should return in time for the Govs series at Eastern Illinois this weekend.
- Dealing Delgado: Fans in attendance for Saturday's game saw all of Casey Delgado's potention. The junior right-hander has struggled this season and entered Saturday's outing with an 8.59 ERA. However, he sparked the Govs first nine-inning shutout since 2010 (see above) and dropped his ERA to 6.94 in the process.
- Closing Time with Rogers: Closer Tyler Rogers notched his season's sixth save in the Govs Sunday victory against UT Martin. He made three appearances during the week and finished with 4.1 scoreless innings. Rogers has not allowed a run in his last 17 innings pitched and his ERA has fallen to a miniscule 0.32 (1 ER in 28 IP).
- Time, nothing but time: My one running item through these ponderings has been the Governors time of game this season. Then the baseball gods answered the press box's plaintive cry with two of the quickest games this season. Ryan Quick was good to his name, as the Govs rattled off a 10-2 win that lasted just 2:35. Casey Delgado upped the ante the next day, starting a 4-0 shutout that finished in 2:34 – the fastest nine-inning game this season. But the baseball gods proved what they giveth they can taketh away as Sunday's finale lasted 3:26… pushing the average time of game back to 3:06 this season.
Copies in a Flash APSU Player of the Game:
After each game the press box determines a Player of the Game, sponsored by Copies in a Flash of Clarksville. In case you missed them, here were the winners from last week:
- Tuesday: Austin Atwell (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 2B)
- Friday: Ryan Quick (7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 9 K)
- Saturday: Casey Delgado (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)
- Sunday: Jon Clinard (2-for-5, 2 RBI, game-winning RBIs, 3 runs scored, 2 stolen bases)
- Tuesday, April 3 vs. Belmont (6 p.m., at Raymond C. Hand Park)
- Thursday, April 5 at Eastern Illinois (3:30 p.m. at Coaches Stadium)
- Friday, April 6 at Eastern Illinois (3 p.m. at Coaches Stadium)
- Saturday, April 7 at Eastern Illinois (1 p.m. at Coaches Stadium)