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APSU Baseball. Stephen Schlegel, Staff Photographer

Baseball hopes high for 2017 season

Now is a good time to be a fan of APSU baseball. The Govs are off to a 3-1 start, and the offense is getting runs throughout the entire lineup, outscoring opponents 37-21. On top of the hot start in games, things looked promising over the offseason.

Head Coach Travis Janssen returns for a second season, having racked up 30 wins during 2016. The team as a whole graduated eight seniors while finishing second in the Ohio Valley Conference, and making it to the final three in the OVC Tournament.

Entering the season baseball was predicted to finish third in the OVC, finishing with five first place votes, behind Southeast Missouri and Jacksonville State. In addition, outfielder Chase Hamilton, who already has three home runs this season, was named to the OVC Preseason All-OVC Team.

Possibly most exciting for APSU baseball fans is Alex Robles, senior right handed pitcher, being named OVC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. In Robles’ one appearance so far in the 2017 season, he recorded nine strikeouts while facing 18 batters. The senior earned a 3.60 ERA in his five-inning performance.

However, Robles said he is not putting to much weight on preseason expectations.

“All those preseason polls do not really mean much,” Robles said. “I think its really more for outsiders looking in.”

The Tuscon, Arizona native’s goal for this season is to win. Citing the way the season ended last year, Robles said he finds drive among his teammates.

“The newcomers saw how last year ended. I think were more hungry [after getting a taste of the tournament last year],” Robles said.

However, success alone will not come just from players like Robles or Hamilton, but from unity and a collective effort on the roster.

“We have a lot of talent 1-9, and defense is playing very well,” Robles said. “When you look at it defensively, offensively and as a pitching staff I think we are very deep in all three spots. We’re ready to go.”

The Govs have shown how ready they are in the opening homestead of the year. With bats knocking out 13 home runs and a .333 batting average, which is in the top 30 for NCAA Division 1, APSU is seemingly in the early stages of a successful campaign.

 

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