Eight different Samford batters had multiple hits in the Bulldogs’ 19-2 win over Appalachian State University baseball on Saturday afternoon at soggy Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
With the win, Samford (23-21, 9-11 SoCon) evened the three-game Southern Conference series at a game apiece. Appalachian State (23-16, 11-11 SoCon) won Friday’s series opener, 10-5. The rubber match of the three-game set is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.
Samford chased Appalachian starter Sam Agnew-Wieland (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) from the game after just 2.1 innings and led 10-1 after three stanzas. The Bulldogs added five more runs in the seventh and four in the ninth to complete the 19-run, 21-hit explosion.
Phillip Ervin led Samford’s outburst at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three doubles, four RBI and four runs scored. Pitcher C.K. Irby and right fielder Christiaan Durdaller had three hits and three RBI apiece and No. 9 hitter Danny Rodriguez added three hits and two RBI.
In addition to his three hits offensively, Irby limited Appalachian to just two runs in seven innings on the mound. He scattered eight hits and struck out five to move to 7-3 on the season. Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside), Dillon Dobson (Boonville, N.C./Starmount) and Josh Zumbrook (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) each had two hits for Appalachian State, which suffered its worst defeat since a 19-2 home loss to The Citadel on March 15, 2009.
Another bright spot for the Mountaineers was senior second baseman Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) breaking Appalachian State’s all-time record by playing in the 210th game of his career. Former teammate David Towarnicky held the previous school record with 209 games played from 2007-10. Crespo went 1-for-4 and made a spectacular diving catch on a line drive by SU’s Brandon Haarer to end the top of the sixth inning.
NOTES: The first 1.2 innings of the game included three rare plays — a catcher’s interference (by Samford’s Richard Greene, which allowed William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) to reach base in the bottom of the first), a runner’s interference called on a batter (Callaway, who was called out after running into Irby as SU’s pitcher attempted to field a bunt along the first-base line) and a 3-6-1 double play (turned by Appalachian State in the second inning) ... the loss was only Appalachian State’s second in its last eight home games ... Crespo has reached base in 18-consecutive games, good for Appalachian’s longest streak of the season ... Crespo’s string of five-straight multi-hit games was snapped.
Photo Courtesy: Will Callaway, ASU Athletics