Looking to avenge two-consecutive losses to Austin Peay, WKU Baseball will complete its home-and-home season series against the Governors on Tuesday, May 14 with a 6 p.m. first pitch at Raymond C. Hand Park. Including the clubs’ earlier matchup, the Hilltoppers are 4-2 this season in midweek contests against non-Power Five opponents.

SERIES HISTORY

  • WKU and Austin Peay will meet for the 160th time on the diamond, with the Hilltoppers holding a convincing 97-61-1 advantage in the all-time series. WKU has a 50-26-1 record in Bowling Green as well as a 47-35 advantage in Clarksville, Tenn.
  • WKU and Kentucky first met in 1933, with the Governors sweeping a home-and-home with a 14-7 win in Clarksville and a 4-3 win in Bowling Green. Since 1964, the programs have played at least once every season except for 2014.
  • Earlier this season on March 19, the Governors edged the Hilltoppers by a score of 5-3 at Nick Denes Field. Right fielder Jake Sanford hit his seventh homerun of the season and lefty Jack Lambert spun four innings of one-run ball in relief. (RECAP)
  • The Hilltoppers traveled to Austin Peay on May 1, 2018, and were shut out by a score of 6-0. It was the first time WKU had been shut out in the series since 1978. (RECAP) The meeting prior to that, the Hilltoppers hit eight homeruns and defeated the Governors by an outrageous score of 22-17 on April 25, 2017, in Clarksville. (RECAP)

WKU PREVIEW

  • WKU at Louisiana Tech recaps: FRIDAY (W, 5-4) | SUNDAY DH (L 1-6 [7] & L, 3-8 [7])
  • After defeating the Bulldogs in the opening game on May 10, the Hilltoppers were 24-22-1 overall and riding a five-game Conference USA win streak with a 15-9-1 record in league play. But after Saturday’s game was postponed, WKU was swept in a doubleheader on May 12 in a pair of seven-inning contests at Ruston High School to drop to 24-24-1 overall and 15-11-1 in league play.
  • Even though the Hilltoppers did not play on Saturday, they officially clinched a berth in the 2019 C-USA Tournament for the first time since joining the league prior to the 2015 season. When Middle Tennessee lost to FIU by a score of 7-3, WKU was mathematically guaranteed to finish above the bottom four teams in the league. (RELEASE)
  • On Friday, the Hilltoppers trailed 3-1 after three innings and recorded their 12th come-from-behind win of the season, including the sixth in C-USA play. In all 12 comeback wins, WKU has trailed by at least two runs at the height of the deficit.
  • In Game 1 on Sunday, Sanford cracked his 21st dinger of the season, moving into a four-way tie with Mike Williams (1981), Mike Roy (1985) and Chad Cregar (2008) for fifth on WKU’s all-time single-season charts. In addition, with 64 runs batted in for the year, the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native moved into 10th on the single-season program ranks. He trails Matt Rice for ninth place, as the catcher had 65 in 2010.
  • In Game 2 on Sunday, left fielder Aidan Elias skied a 3-1 offering from Bulldog lefty Logan Bailey deep over the left-field fence for a solo homerun, the first of his collegiate career. The long ball continues the incredible comeback story of the Lexington native, who has recovered from shattering both of his kneecaps in October of 2017 to become a utility outfielder for the Hilltoppers this season.

AUSTIN PEAY PREVIEW

  • Austin Peay at Eastern Illinois recaps: FRIDAY (W, 13-9) | SATURDAY (W, 29-5) | SUNDAY (W, 6-3)
  • The Governors enter the week with a 29-20 overall record after sweeping the Panthers over the weekend. With a 19-8 record on Ohio Valley Conference play, Austin Peay is tied for first in the league with Jacksonville State, who happens to be the team’s upcoming opponent in Clarksville for the final weekend series of 2019.
  • The Governors are led by slugger Parker Phillips, who is tied with Sanford for fifth in Division I with 21 homeruns. After hitting five long balls in his first 20 games, the junior utility player has exploded for 16 in his past 29 games, including 12 in his past 19 contests. Overall, the Collierville, Tenn., native is slashing .309/.450/.731 with 58 runs batted in and 52 runs scored. He has also added 11 doubles and seven stolen bases, with 31 walks and 18 times hit by pitche compared to 53 strikeouts. In this year’s previous matchup against WKU, Phillips went 1-for-3 with one run batted in, one time hit by pitch and one time grounded into a double play.
  • Austin Peay has a handful of other dangerous hitters as well, including catcher David Martinez, who leads the club with a .351 batting average. The senior from Post St. Lucie, Fla., also boasts a .434 on-base percentage and .544 slugging percentage, ranking right behind Phillips among the team’s qualified hitters.
  • On the mound, the Governors are likely to go with lefty Nolan Monaghan. The junior from Wasilla, Alaska — via Feather River College in Northern California — has made 12 appearances this season, including four starts, and owns a 8.05 earned run average and a 1-2 record. He has only allowed 13 base hits and struck out 24 in 19 innings pitched, but has also issued 17 walks and hit six batters along the way.
  • Most recently, Monaghan pitched one inning at No. 24 Tennessee on May 7 while allowing two runs on one hit and three walks. But his best outing of the year was a gem, spinning 4.1 hitless innings in a start vs. Evansville on April 9. He struck out six while allowing only two walks and one hit by pitch to the Aces, leading the Governors to a 10-2 win.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Baseball, follow the program via social media @WKUBaseball on Snapchat, TwitterInstagram & Facebook.
-@WKUSports-_____________________________
Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics

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