Despite being outscored 15-6 in the opening two games of the series, Govs baseball was able to record their biggest win of the season 7-3 over North Carolina State (4-2) on Sunday, Feb. 26. The bulk of APSU’s runs came in the eighth, but the Govs never trailed in the game.
Caleb Powell opened on the mound for the visting Govs (4-3). Powell went through 5.1 innings recording two strikeouts on 19 at bats from the Wolfpack. The senior allowed 2 runs on four hits. However, the win is credited to John Sparks who allowed only 1 run to reach during his two inning outing. Sparks struck out the first batter he faced in Shane Shepard. The junior pitcher then closed out the inning off of a Jack Conley grounder to the mound.
APSU started to tack on runs in the top of the second. The inning began with Dre Gleason being walked. One batter later, an Alex Robles double sent Gleason to third. Two batters after that, freshman Landon Kelly double brought in both Gleason and Robles, putting the Govs ahead for the first time in the series.
NC State tied the game in the bottom of the third when an Evan Mendoza single brought in Will Wilson and Stephen Pitarra. APSU retook the lead when Chase Hamilton homered to right center in the top of the fifth. Hamilton now has four home runs on the season. The Wolfpack responded with a solo home run from Joe Dunand to tie the game 3-3 in the seventh.
APSU took their final lead in the top of the eighth. Tyler Hubbard opened the scoring when he reached on a wild pitch, putting the Govs ahead 4-3. With two men on, base Kelly blasted a 3-run home run putting the visitors up 7-3. Kelly’s day consisted of hist first extra base hit and his first home run. He also became the ninth Gov to homer this season. Kelly finished the day with five RBIs.
Also reaching milestones was Robles, whose double in the sixth served as his 200th career hit, and Hamilton, who blasted his 24th career home run.
The Govs will face Middle Tennessee State at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Raymond C. Hand Park.