Georgia erased Appalachian State University baseball’s 3-2 lead by scoring five runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Bulldogs went on to defeat the Mountaineers, 9-4, on Tuesday evening at Foley Field.
Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) hit a leadoff home run in the top of the fifth inning that snapped a 2-2 deadlock and gave Appalachian State (8-5) the one-run advantage that it would maintain until the bottom of the seventh.
However, with Appalachian just one out away from taking the 3-2 lead into the eighth, Georgia got back-to-back RBI singles from Daniel Nichols and Brett DeLoach to take its first lead of the game at 4-3.
Following DeLoach’s go-ahead base hit, things got worse for the Mountaineers, as they walked a batter, hit another, surrendered two more run-scoring singles, including a two-RBI shot up the middle by D.J. Smith. By the time Appalachian finally recorded the third out of the inning, UGA had turned the 3-2 Mountaineer lead into a demoralizing 7-3 deficit.
Georgia (8-8) stretched the advantage to 9-3 in the eighth on a towering two-run homer by DeLoach. Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) drove in the final run of the game with an RBI single through the left side in the top of the ninth but it would not be nearly enough to keep Appalachian State from falling for the third time in four games.
Crespo, Troutman and true freshman Preston Tiller (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) had two hits apiece to pace Appalachian’s 10-hit effort. Curt Powell (3-for-4, two runs) and DeLoach (three RBI) led the Georgia to its sixth win in eight games.
Appalachian State looks to salvage a split of the two-game mid-week series when it squares off with Georgia again on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Foley Field.
NOTES: Despite the loss, Appalachian State is still an impressive 5-4 in its last nine meetings with opponents from the powerful Southeastern Conference … Tuesday’s meeting was the first between Appalachian State and Georgia since 1983 … Appalachian fell to 1-4 all-time versus UGA … Alex Leach (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning single … Leach had to leave the game in the sixth inning after sustaining an injury when he was hit in the head by catcher Josh Zumbrook’s (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) shin guard while both players were pursuing a pop-up in foul territory (despite the collision, Leach made a diving catch on the play for the final out of the fifth inning) … with a double in the fourth inning,10 of Zumbrook’s 11 career hits have now gone for extra bases (eight doubles, a triple and a home run) … Tiller’s second-inning double and sixth-inning single were the first two hits of his career.
Photo Courtesy: Preston Troutman, ASU Athletics