Written by SoCon Sports Information
Saturday, 28 May 2011 11:04
In a game where runs were at a premium, Samford edged Appalachian State 2-1 in the 2011 Bennett Hospitality Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Carolina Ford Dealers.
Both teams tallied seven hits and committed one error, but the Bulldogs had the advantage on the Mountaineers in the run column.
Samford (37-22) advances to its first-ever appearance in the SoCon Championship Game, which will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs will face the winner of the Georgia Southern and College of Charleston game that will take place today. The Cougars must win twice to play Samford while the Eagles only need one victory to move on. Appalachian State finishes it 2011 campaign with a 33-27 record.
Bulldog starter Josh Martin picked up the win to improve to 6-2 after tossing 6.1 innings. He gave up one run on seven hits and two walks. It is the only earned run Samford pitching has given up in the last 26 innings of the conference tournament. The Bulldogs' bullpen completed the final 2.2 innings without allowing a base runner and striking out four. Andrew Jones picked up his 15th save of the season for Samford.
Tyler Filliben went 2-for-3 for Samford today, while Michael Johnson knocked in a Samford run on his 1-for-3 hitting effort.
Appalachian State scored the first run of the game in the second inning when Zack Briggs doubled to right field to send Preston Troutman home. Preston reached base on a walk before crossing the plate to give ASU the early 1-0 advantage.
Samford responded in the top of the fourth to tie it up with a two-out rally. Brandon Miller started the hitting with a single through the left side and then advanced to second on a Frankoff balk. Miller would score to even the score at one apiece when Phillip Ervin doubled to left.
The Bulldogs jumped on top in the next inning thanks to three consecutive singles from Brandon Powell, Tyler Filliben and Michael Johnson. After reaching first on his hit, Powell moved from first to third on Filliben's single to put runners on the corners for Johnson. Johnson laid down a safety squeeze bunt and beat the throw to first to reach safely to put Samford on top 2-1.
Tyler Zupcic and Trey Holmes led the Mountaineer hitting with 2-for-4 efforts today from the plate. Appalachian State's Ryne Frankoff threw 5.0 innings and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk. Frankoff fell to 1-2 on the year.
NOTES: Appalachian State's last eight SoCon Tournament losses have come by a total of 11 runs. That's five one-run losses and three two-run losses in the past four years......Samford advances to the SoCon Tournament championship game for the first time (joined the league in 2009). The Bulldogs have never played in the NCAA Tournament. They lost in the championship round of the 2006 Ohio Valley Conference tournament......Samford's pitching staff has surrendered four earned runs in 27 innings this week for a 1.33 ERA.