A Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium record crowd of 1,116 saw Sam Agnew-Wieland (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) turn in his second-consecutive complete-game shutout to lead Appalachian State University baseball to a 2-0 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon.
With its second-straight victory over Georgia Southern (19-11, 9-5 SoCon), Appalachian State (17-9, 8-5 SoCon) moved within a half-game of the first-place Eagles in the Southern Conference standings. Appalachian looks to complete its first-ever series sweep over GSU when the clubs meet in the finale of their three-game SoCon series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.
Agnew-Wieland (5-2) followed up last Saturday’s five-hit shutout win against Wofford with an even more dominant performance against Georgia Southern. The right-handed junior allowed just two hits, struck out nine and needed only 102 pitches to complete the whitewashing. He did not surrender a hit to 19-straight batters between Chase Griffin’s single to left field in the first inning and Robbie Dodds’ infield hit in the seventh and retired 14 in a row between his only walks of the afternoon in the second and sixth innings.
The Mountaineers gave Agnew-Wieland all the run support he would need in the bottom of the first when Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) slapped a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield. They tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh on an error by GSU relief pitcher Justin Hess, which allowed Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) to score from third and give the Apps a 2-0 lead.
That would be more than enough for Agnew-Wieland, who sat down Georgia Southern’s final nine batters of the afternoon to become the first Appalachian State pitcher since at least 2003 with two complete-game shutouts in a season. During that same 11-season span, he is one of only two Mountaineer hurlers with multiple whitewashings in a career, joining Seth Grant, who tossed shutouts as a junior in 2011 and a senior in 2012.
Callaway finished 3-for-4 and recorded three of Appalachian’s five hits as a team. Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) and Gabe Dimock (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) accounted for the Mountaineers’ only other hits. Agnew-Wieland outdueled Georgia Southern starter Jason Richman, who allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits in 6.2 innings of work but was saddled with the tough-luck loss to fall to 4-2 on the campaign.
NOTES: Agnew-Wieland has registered 19-consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to his final stanza at College of Charleston on March 23 ... during the 19-inning scoreless streak, he has surrendered just seven hits and struck out 21 ... Callaway is 5-for-7 with six RBI in the first two games of this weekend’s series ... junior William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) set a new career high by reaching base safely for the 10th-straight game on a second-inning walk ... Appalachian State clinched only its third series victory over Georgia Southern since the Eagles joined the Southern Conference in 1992 (the Mountaineers took 2-of-3 games from GSU in 2008 and 2011) ... Appalachian has won six of the last nine meetings versus Georgia Southern ... the Mountaineers extended their longest winning streak of the season to five games ... all seven hits in Saturday’s game were singles ... the over-capacity crowd smashed the previous Smith Stadium record of 993 that attended the Mountaineers’ doubleheader sweep versus Oakland on March 31 of last season.
Photo Courtesy: Sam Agnew-Wieland, ASU Athletics