OXFORD, Ala. – Facing elimination in the OVC Tournament, No. 3 Belmont baseball never once succumbed to pressure as they downed No.7 Austin Peay, 6-1, late Thursday night at Choccolocco Park.
BU (29-28) came up clutch both offensively and defensively throughout the entirety of the game, scoring all six of their runs with two-outs weighing on them. In addition to some timely hitting, starting hurler Tyler Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) dazzled on the mound – logging eight complete innings while striking out nine Governors (28-30) and getting out of a couple of jams.
The Bruins looked sharp to start off their second game of the tournament, plating a pair of runs and only relinquishing a hit through the first three stanzas. They got things started in the first inning, using a trio of base shots to plate their first run with sophomore Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) earning the RBI. Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) then drove in BU's second run on the squad's fourth single of the night to go up, 2-0, after two.
While Belmont's offense heated up, Vaughn got it done on the hill. He retired 12 of the first 13 Governors he faced, striking out four in that span. It wouldn't be until the fifth frame the Austin Peay would find a way on the board, doing so via a solo shot over the right field fence from Chase Hamilton.
Before APSU scored its lone run of the game, BU pushed four more across to go up, 6-0. All six of the Bruins runs came in the form of a two-out rally, including the last three scoring on a BU two-bagger. Redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) highlighted the hitting frenzy with a two RBI double in the fourth before Holland drove in his second run of the night.
After giving up a long ball, Vaughn settled back in and ensured that the Govs didn't sneak back into the game. The righty allowed a pair of hits in the sixth to put multiple runners on base for the first time, but got out of the jam unscathed by striking out the next two batters he saw to keep it a 6-1 game in favor of the Bruins.
Austin Peay went to the bullpen in the middle of the fourth and called on reliever Michael Costanzo, who would shut down Belmont's previously explosive offense. The left hander retired BU's final 13 batters, but the Bruins six runs scored in the opening frames proved to be enough for them to hold on to the victory.
No. 3 Belmont will play in game 11 on of the tournament Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. inside Choccolocco Park. The Bruins will find out who they play concluding the 3 p.m. game.