|Mountaineers get 30th Win, Pollard Wins No. 200|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Friday, 20 May 2011 06:34|
Appalachian State University baseball clinched its fifth-straight 30-win season and Chris Pollard got his 200th victory as ASU’s head coach in Thursday evening’s 11-1 rout over Georgia Southern at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.Behind seven strong innings from starting pitcher Ryan Arrowood (Rutherfordton, N.C./Central) and a blistering 14-hit attack, Appalachian (30-24, 14-14 SoCon) posted its largest margin of victory in 65 all-time meetings with Georgia Southern.
Arrowood strengthened his case as the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year by limiting GSU (31-22, 17-11 SoCon), which came into the series ranked 19th nationally in scoring at 7.2 runs per game, to just one run on four hits over seven innings of work. He struck out six while moving to 8-2 on the season and dropping his ERA to 2.87.
The right-hander’s only mistake of the evening came in the first inning when he left a 2-0 fastball to GSU’s Victor Roache over the heart of the plate. Roache, the nation’s leader in home runs, pounded the offering to straightaway center field for his 28th homer of the season that gave the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
Georgia Southern’s only advantage of the evening was short-lived, however, as ASU jumped all over GSU starter Chris Beck in the bottom of the first. After the Mountaineers loaded the bases with nobody out, Will Callaway’s (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) two-run single to right field gave Appalachian a lead it would never relinquish. Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and Zack Briggs (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) followed with a run-scoring groundout and an RBI single, respectively, to give ASU a commanding 4-1 lead after just one frame.
ASU pulled away with four-run fourth inning, highlighted by a three-run double from Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), and added a single run in the fifth and two more in the eighth to complete the romp.
Zupcic led Appalachian’s biggest scoring explosion since a 12-3 win over Gardner-Webb on April 13 by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBI, raising his batting average to a team-leading .332 in the process. Briggs went 4-for-4 with a run and a pair of RBI while Callaway and Daniel Kassouf (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) chipped in with two hits apiece.
Beck, who came into the evening with a 7-3 record and 3.24 ERA, was chased from the game during the Mountaineers’ four-run fourth. He was charged with six runs on six hits in just 3.1 innings and suffered the loss to fall to 7-4 on the campaign.
Arthur Owens (2-for-3) accounted for two of GSU’s seven hits.
With the triumph, Pollard became only the second head coach in Appalachian’s 108-year baseball history to win 200 games. His five-consecutive 30-win seasons are the most at ASU since 1982-86.
The victory also ensured that the Mountaineers will remain in no worse than a tie for sixth place in the SoCon standings with only two regular-season games to play.
The clubs continue their three-game conference series on Friday with the final night game of the season at Smith Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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