In addition to spring football, Austin Peay head coach Rick Christophel has continued to hit the recruiting trail, looking to find more players to help his squad next season.
Turns out, Christophel didn’t have to look very far.
On Friday, the school announced the signing of former Clarksville Academy quarterback Dylan Ragsdale.
The 6-1, 200-pound Ragsdale played both offense and defense for former Gov Todd Hood at Clarksville Academy and helped guide the Cougars to a District 10-A football championship in 2011.
Christophel forecasted Ragsdale’s greatest potential with the Govs would be on the defensive side of the ball.
“We had him in camp last summer and we really liked him,” Christophel said. “The best thing about him is he is a really good athlete, a kid who can run. We are excited about him. He certainly can challenge for a back-up role for sure (this season). It now gives us six safeties (two at each position).
“I think he is going to be a real good fit for us. Hopefully, he feels the same about us.”
With the signing of Ragsdale, the Govs 2012 recruiting class increased a total of 13.
The Govs will will host their second spring football scrimmage on Sunday, seeking to build on what it has accomplished over the first two spring practice weeks.
Action begins at 2 p.m. at Governors Stadium and is open to the public.
Another quality start from starting pitcher Ryan Quick and a five-run third inning proved enough for Austin Peays baseball team to post an Ohio Valley Conference opening 8-5 victory against Southeast Missouri, Friday, at Capaha Field.
Quick didnt have his best stuff on display in the OVC opener but worked some magic in both the first and second innings to surrender only one run while stranding three runners in scoring position. Southeast Missouri (7-16, 0-1 OVC) seemed poised for a big inning in the second, but the Govs got a fortuitous bounce to stop a runner at home and Quick followed that up with two efficient outs to stifle the threat.
Austin Peay (12-10, 1-0 OVC) saw its first seven batters go down without a ball leaving the infield. However, right fielder Dylan Riner walked with one out to start a rally that saw nine APSU batters reach the plate with five runs scoring. Third baseman Greg Bachmans two-run single gave the Govs a lead they would not relinquish and second baseman Jordan Hankins and shortstop Reed Harper each had RBI hits to give APSU a 5-1 lead.
The rare show of run support seemed to bolster Quick as he settled down in the bottom of the third and proceeded to retire the next nine batters he faced. The Govs added to their lead in the sixth courtesy catcher P.J. Torres two-run home run. Southeast Missouri finally broke Quicks spell with third baseman Trenton Moses leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning.
The Govs turned to their bullpen after Quick walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh. However, reliever Mike Hebert faced just two batters giving up a RBI double to pinch hitter Ryan Barnes and an RBI single to shortstop Kenton Parmley before making way for closer Tyler Rogers.
Rogers loaded the bases and surrendered a run on designated hitter Kody Campbells ground out, but closed the inning with a strikeout. After facing only three batters in the eighth, Rogers had to work out of a bases-loaded two-out jam in the ninth, but recorded a strikeout to secure his seasons fourth save.
Quick (2-0) notched his seasons second win after holding Southeast Missouri to three runs on six hits and four walks over six-plus innings. Bachman led the Govs offense with a 2-for-4, three RBI effort. Hankins, Harper, Torres and Blanchard each had two hits to pace the Govs 11-hit attack.
Southeast Missouri starter Christian Hull (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on seven hits over six innings. Parmley and first baseman Andy Lennington each had three hits as the Redhawks posted 13 hits against the Govs.
Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri will continue their three-game series with a 1 p.m., Saturday contest. The Govs will hand the ball to left-hander Zach Toney (1-2, 5.02 ERA). Southeast Missouri will counter with right-handed Shae Simmons (0-3, 5.32 ERA).
Austin Peay State University women’s golf team will play in its first spring tournament when it travels to Carbondale, Ill., to participate in the Saluki Invitational, Sunday and Monday, at the Hickory Ridge Golf Course.
The 36-hole tournament will be played on a 6,075-yard, par-72 golf layout, a parkland-style course with tree-line fairways and water in play on seven holes. Fifteen four-year teams, plus two junior college programs, are vying for the championship, including Big 10 school Iowa. Also competing will be five Illinois’ directional schools, including host Southern Illinois along with SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois, the latter two also being Lady Govs’ Ohio Valley Conference foes.
The Lady Govs will send a contingent comprised of two sophomores (Tabitha Beard and Rachel Deaton), one senior (Ashley Averitt), one junior (Holly Batey) and one freshman (Meghan Mueller). A second freshman, Marta Gutierrez, will compete as an individual.
Although the Lady Govs have not competed in a tourney since the fall, they did play Belmont in a dual match in Gulf Shores, Ala., during spring break, with APSU securing the narrow victory. Since then APSU has been utilizing the unusually warm temperatures to gain much practice time.
“We have been enjoying the weather and being able to take advantage of the fact that it has been nice, which has resulted in the courses being in good shape during the early spring,” APSU coach Sara Robson said. “This team works hard and they are very diligent about improving their weaknesses.
“Over the next few weeks I am looking for some girls to step up lead this team on the course. We have eighth players and for the most part they are all only a stroke or two away from each other. That makes us very competitive, but we need a few of them to step up and post some scores consistently below 80.”
Robson expects her team to be excited about playing their first tournament, but keeping their attention to the task at hand.
“We are very capable but we need to focus on one shot at a time, leave everything that we cannot control off the golf course, be competitive and do what it takes to get the ball in the hole,” she said. “Most importantly, we need to believe in and trust ourselves.”