|ASU Snaps Skid with 4-2 Win Over UNCG|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Saturday, 19 March 2011 18:00|
Daniel Kassouf’s (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) first-inning three-run home run proved to be the decisive blow in Appalachian State University baseball’s 4-2 win over UNC Greensboro on Saturday afternoon at UNCG Baseball Stadium.With the victory over first-place UNCG (12-6, 4-1 SoCon), Appalachian (9-10, 1-7 SoCon) snapped a five-game losing streak and got into the win column in Southern Conference play for the first time this season.
ASU got all the scoring it needed on Kassouf’s three-run blast in the top of the first. However, Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) turned in perhaps the most critical at-bat of the inning when he led off the game by fouling off six tough pitches and drawing a 12-pitch walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Trey Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and a base hit by Jack Myers (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park), Kassouf drilled the first pitch he saw from UNCG starter Brandon Browne (0-2) over the right-field wall to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.
After Kassouf’s bomb, the story of the game was the clutch performances turned in by ASU’s bullpen. None of the seven runners inherited by Mountaineer relievers crossed the plate, thanks mainly to David Port (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) getting out of a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth and Taylor Miller (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) inducing a lazy fly ball to end the inning with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Miller went on to throw 51 pitches for a seven-out save, his third of the season. He closed the game by getting out of another bases-loaded jam in the ninth, striking out .350 hitter Drew Gehringer to end the game with the winning run on first base.
In all, five Appalachian pitchers worked around a season-high 11 walks and three errors by stranding 16 UNCG runners on base. Starter Nathan Hyatt (Brevard, N.C./Brevard) upped his record to 2-3 by allowing just one run on four hits while striking out six over five innings of work. The right-handed sophomore had to give way to the bullpen in the sixth due to a pitch count of 107, caused primarily by his career-high six walks.
Kassouf and Myers accounted for half of ASU’s eight hits with two apiece.
Appalachian and UNCG play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
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