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ASU Splits Doubleheader, Wins Series PDF Print
Written by Mike Flynn   
Saturday, 26 March 2011 08:32

Appalachian State University baseball’s third late-inning comeback of the week lifted the Mountaineers to a doubleheader split with Cornell on Friday at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

ASU dropped the first game of the twinbill, 5-3, but won the nightcap, 8-7, to take the three-game series from Cornell, two games to one.

Appalachian (12-12) trailed Cornell, 5-1, in Friday’s second game but rallied for seven runs over its final three at-bats to claim the series victory. Trey Holmes’ (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and Jack Myers’ (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) RBI singles highlighted a four-run seventh inning that gave the Mountaineers the lead for good and Holmes’ groundout in the eighth pushed across what proved to be the deciding run.

Having already cut the deficit to 5-2 on Jeremy Dowdy’s (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) sacrifice fly in the sixth, ASU loaded the bases with one out for the second-straight inning in the seventh. Appalachian managed to push only one run across in the sixth and was close to coming up empty in the seventh when Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) struck out for the second out of the stanza.

However, Holmes ripped a 1-1 pitch through the right side of the infield to drive in one run and Cornell right fielder Chris Cruz misplayed the ball to allow a second run to come home and bring the Mountaineers within a run at 5-4. Myers followed with a full-count RBI single to center field that knotted the ballgame at 5-5. After Dowdy walked to load the bases again, Holmes scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Daniel Lea, Cornell’s third pitcher of the fateful frame.

The Mountaineers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth when Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) scored on a throwing error by left fielder Conor McCabe (who entered the game that inning as a defensive replacement) and an RBI groundout to first by Holmes.

The two eighth-inning runs proved to be crucial in the ninth when Cornell reached ASU closer Taylor Miller (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) for three hits, including two doubles, to cut the Mountaineer advantage to 8-7. With two outs and the tying run on third base, Miller induced a slow roller that was fielded on the run by shortstop Doug Jones (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg), who fired a one-hop throw across to Holmes, who stretched to make a game-saving scoop of the short hop.

In addition to Holmes’ two RBI, Appalachian received two hits apiece from Jones, Tyler Tewell (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) and Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) in the series-clinching victory.

Chad Farmer (Evans, Ga./Greenbrier) recorded the final out of the seventh inning to earn the win and move to 2-1 on the season while Miller recoded his fourth save of the campaign.

The comeback victory was Appalachian’s third of the week. ASU rallied for six runs in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 9-5 win over UNC Asheville and scored seven times over its final three at-bats in Thursday’s 8-3 come-from-behind triumph against Cornell.

In Friday’s opener, the Mountaineers received a strong start on the mound from sophomore Nathan Hyatt (Brevard, N.C./Brevard) but he was out-dueled by Cornell senior Jadd Schmeltzer in the tough-luck loss. Hyatt surrendered just two runs on four hits while striking out five over seven innings of work but Schmeltzer limited ASU to two runs on four hits over 7.1 stanzas.

Appalachian cut a 4-0 deficit to 4-3 with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning but the Big Red got a run back in the top of the ninth and sat the Mountaineers down in order in the ninth to force a rubber game in the nightcap.

Myers drove in two of ASU’s three runs in Friday’s opener.

After a rare weekend off, Appalachian makes the short trip to Hickory, N.C. on Tuesday for a neutral-site showdown versus long-time in-state rival Wake Forest. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Hickory’s L.P. Frans Stadium.

 

 

  
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