Ryan Arrowood (Rutherfordton, N.C./Central) tossed a four-hit shutout in Appalachian State University baseball’s 4-0 win over Samford on Friday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
Arrowood’s shutout was the first of his career and Appalachian’s first complete-game whitewash in nearly three years. In what ASU head coach Chris Pollard described as one of the best-pitched games he’s seen in his 20 years in college baseball, Arrowood was in control throughout. The right-handed junior did not surrender a base hit to 14-straight batters at one point early in the ballgame and retired the final eight hitters he faced to complete the gem.
Arrowood needed just 102 pitches to record his first career complete game, despite striking out eight. He issued only one walk to go along with the four hits.
Much like the Mountaineers’ last complete-game shutout, a 5-0 win by Matt Andress over Furman and current Chicago Cubs’ farmhand Jay Jackson on May 9, 2008, Arrowood outdueled a top-notch pro prospect in Samford’s Lex Rutledge (5-3) on Friday. Rutledge, who is considered a likely first-round selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, struck out nine but walked six and needed 102 pitches (as many as Arrowood threw in nine innings) to get through 5.2 stanzas.
Red-hot Daniel Kassouf (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) provided all the scoring Arrowood needed when he drove in the game’s first run with an RBI double in the fourth inning. Kassouf came around to score later in the inning on an errant throw by Samford shortstop Tyler Filliben to make 2-0.
Rutledge walked four of the final five batters he faced, including a bases-loaded free pass to Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian), that gave the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead after six innings. The Apps tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on Jeremy Dowdy’s (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) RBI double to left field.
Dowdy collected three of ASU’s nine hits, going 3-for-3 with a double, walk and RBI in his first multi-hit effort since March 22. Jack Myers (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) and Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) chipped in with two hits apiece for Appalachian (21-15, 7-9 SoCon). Kassouf extended his streak of games with multi-hit games to five with the RBI double in the fourth but Zack Briggs (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) saw his Southern Conference-best 15-game hitting streak come to an end with an 0-for-3 outing.
However, the story of the day was Arrowood. With the shutout, he extended his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 20, stretching over three starts. He upped his record to 5-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.16, good for third in the SoCon.
No hitter had more than one hit for Samford (21-14, 9-7 SoCon).
The victory was Appalachian’s season-best fifth-straight, as well as its ninth in the last 11 games overall and seventh in nine conference dates since opening at 0-7 in SoCon play. ASU also upped its amazing record in the month of April to 43-6 since 2009.
The Mountaineers and Bulldogs continue their three-game SoCon series on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Smith Stadium. Radio coverage on AM1450, WATA begins at 2:40 pm.