|UNCG Squeeze Downs ASU In 11 Innings|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Saturday, 13 April 2013 23:10|
UNC Greensboro designated hitter Zac MacAneney laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 11th inning to deal Appalachian State University baseball a 6-5 defeat on Saturday afternoon at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Appalachian State (19-11, 9-7 SoCon) led 4-0 after the top of the first inning but UNCG (17-18, 5-9 SoCon) clawed back to knot the game at 5-5 with a controversial run in the bottom of the eighth.
Clinging to a 5-4 lead with a runner on first base and two outs in the eighth, Appalachian reliever Tyler Moore (Banner Elk, N.C./Watauga) appeared to make a handful of identical pickoff moves to first base. After several attempts, Moore seemingly caught UNCG’s TJ Spiva off the bag for the final out of the inning. However, first-base umpire Mike Cheek ruled that Moore balked, which sent Spiva to second base and extended the frame. Later in the at-bat, Greensboro’s Christian Wolfe singled up the middle to bring Spiva home from second with the tying run.
The score remained deadlocked at 5-5 until the bottom of the 11th. UNCG’s Eric Kalbfleisch got the game-winning rally started with a one-out single to left-center, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. As Appalachian’s Josh Wilson (Edgefield, S.C./Strom Thurmond) began his first delivery to MacAneney, Kalbfleisch immediately broke for home plate. MacAneney masterfully pushed a bunt down the third-base line and there was nothing the Mountaineers could do as Kalbfleisch easily crossed home plate with the winning run.
One of the lone bright spots for Appalachian State in the sloppy loss was Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside), who continued his torrid stretch at the plate by going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. With the three-hit performance, Callaway upped his batting average over the past seven games to .533 (16-for-30). The senior shortstop has four doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI and 11 runs scored during the blistering seven-game stretch.
Outside of Callaway’s performance, the story of the afternoon for Appalachian State was a bevy of miscues and missed opportunities, highlighted by three balks and several runners that were stranded or erased on the basepaths in key situations. Most notably, the Mountaineers’ first three batters of the ninth inning all reached base but none advanced as far as second. Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) was thrown out trying to advance to second on a throwing error by Spiva and Dillon Dobson (Boonville, N.C./Starmount) was picked off at first to squelch Appalachian’s chances in the ninth.
The Mountaineers look to rebound from Saturday’s loss when they squares off with UNCG on Sunday in the rubber match of the teams’ three-game Southern Conference series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 1-1 in extra-inning games this season ... four of the Mountaineers’ 11 losses this season have come when they led after seven innings ... Sam Agnew-Wieland (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) had his scoreless-innings streak snapped at 19.2 stanzas when UNCG plated two runs in the bottom of the first ... Crespo and Gabe Dimock (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) both doubled to extend their team-best hitting streaks to eight games ... William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville), who has not started the first two games of the series due to a knee injury, pinch-hit in the 11th and popped up to second base, which snapped his streak of consecutive games reaching base at 13.
Photo Courtesy: Will Callaway, ASU Athletics
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