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Xander Hamilton
Xander Hamilton struck out a career high 15 batters in a road win at 8th ranked Coastal Carolina.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State’s Hamilton Named Sun Belt Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week

Following one of the top pitching performances in program history, App State right-handed pitcher Xander Hamilton has been named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league announced today.

Hamilton earned the victory in the Mountaineers’ 11-0 triumph over No. 8 Coastal Carolina on Friday, recording a program-record 15 strikeouts over a career-high eight innings of work against the league’s top offense. Hamilton yielded just one hit in the ballgame, a bloop single to center field to begin the fourth inning.

The Raleigh, N.C. native induced a ground ball double play in the first inning, and followed that up by striking out at least two batters in six of the next seven frames, including fanning the side in the eighth inning.

Hamilton was also named Perfect Game’s national pitcher of the week, while placing third in the country in the week 12 pitching rankings.

Hamilton leads the Sun Belt with 94 strikeouts on the season, which ranks 11th nationally. That strikeout total also sets a new Mountaineer program record for a single season, eclipsing Ryan Arrowood’s 93 punchouts in 2012. Hamilton has struck out at least nine batters in six of his 12 starts this season.

This week marks the second time this season that Hamilton has been named the conference’s pitcher of the week. He also won the award on April 4, following a then-program-record 13 strikeouts in a road victory over Louisiana. Hamilton also earned the honor in the first week of the 2022 campaign, following 6.1 scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts against Campbell in his first start for the Black and Gold.

Hamilton is now 8-2 this season and is tied for the league lead with seven victories in Sun Belt play. Overall, the Mountaineers are 10-2 in games in which Hamilton starts. He has accounted for more than a third of the Mountaineers 23 wins this season, their most victories in a season since winning 30 games in the 2013 campaign.

Hamilton will make his next start on Friday when the Mountaineers welcome the Arkansas State Red Wolves to Smith Stadium for the final home series of the year. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.