APSU Sports Information
Oxford, AL – Austin Peay State University baseball right fielder Chase Hamilton hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, tying APSU’s career home run record, but the Governors saw their season come to an end with a 6-1 loss to Belmont, Thursday night, in the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship at Choccolocco Park.Hamilton’s fifth-inning leadoff home run was the 37th of his four-year career, tying Lance Wampler’s (1997-2000) 18-season old record.
It also was his 17th this season, moving him into sole possession of third-most home runs in a single-season for a Govs hitter.
Austin Peay (28-30) had few answers against Belmont starting pitcher Tyler Vaughn, who allowed only that one run in his eight-inning outing. The Governors would get a runner into scoring position just three times against the Bruins hurler, each time with one out, only to see Vaughn find a way out of the threat.
The Governors biggest threat came in the ninth against Belmont reliever Brennan Washington. Third baseman Alex Robles singled with one out, first baseman Dre Gleason reached on an infield error and pinch hitter Max Remy walked to load the bases with two out. But Washington induced a game-ending pop out.
Belmont (29-28) scored all of its six runs in the game’s first four innings and each of the six runs scored with two outs. Govs starter John Sparks got two outs in the first, second and third innings only to see Belmont get clutch run-scoring hits from left fielder Hunter Holland, shortstop Kyle Conger and third baseman Ben Kocher, respectively, as the Bruins broke out to a 3-0 lead.
The Bruins used a trio of doubles to post the game’s biggest burst, a three-run fourth inning. Catcher Clay Payne led off the inning with a double, right fielder Matt Cogen drove in two runs with a two-out double and Holland followed with another run-scoring double as Belmont built a 6-0 lead.
Sparks (2-2) allowed just four runs on seven hits in his season’s second start, which lasted 3.1 innings and saw him suffer the loss. Reliever Michael Costanzo recovered from back-to-back doubles in the fourth to retire the final 13 batters he faced in a 4.2-inning outing.
Hamilton’s home run was part of a 2-for-4 outing that also included a second-inning double. Shortstop Garrett Giovannelli had two late hits in a 2-for-5 outing.
Vaughn (4-8) kept the Govs bottled up, allowing one run on six hits while striking out nine of 31 batters over eight innings. Holland’s 2-for-4, two RBI effort led the Belmont offense.