Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) went 4-for-5 with two doubles and Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) had a career-high five RBI to help Appalachian State University baseball complete a four-game series sweep with a 15-4 romp over
Rider on Sunday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
With the victory, Appalachian (9-2) extended its winning streak to seven games, its longest since winning nine-straight contests from April 6-17, 2010. ASU has also scored double-digit runs in three-consecutive games for the time since May 22-26, 2010.
Sunday’s game started with a bang when Crespo drove the second pitch from Rider starter Zach Mawson over the left-field wall to give the Mountaineers a quick 1-0 lead.
The Broncs evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the third but Appalachian exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the frame to take a commanding 10-1 advantage. The Mountaineers sent 13 batters to the plate in the third and scored six of the nine runs with two outs. Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) and Holmes both had two-run singles before Crespo blew the game wide open with a two-out, three-run double to cap the nine-run inning.
Thanks to four Rider errors, Appalachian tacked on two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth (all unearned) to put an exclamation point on its 53-run weekend. The Mountaineers outscored Rider (3-5), 53-15, over the four-game set while hitting .342 as a team and reaching base at a .455 clip. Holmes, who had just two career RBI 24 hours ago, drove in two runs on Sunday to give him six RBI over the last two games. Crespo, who did not have an RBI this season coming into Sunday’s game, surpassed his previous career high by two with his five RBI in the series finale.
Seven of ASU’s nine starters recorded hits on Sunday and eight of the nine scored at least one run. Daniel Kassouf (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) chipped in with two hits, Callaway drove in three run and Brandon Burris (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) matched Crespo for the team lead with three runs scored.
Five Appalachian pitchers combined to limit Rider to just five hits. Starter Rob Marcello (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach) allowed just two hits over 2.2 innings before coming out of the game with minor arm discomfort. Marcello’s removal from the contest was precautionary on a day with temperatures hovering around freezing and the southpaw is expected to be at 100 percent for next weekend’s Southern Conference opening series versus Davidson.
Chad Farmer (Evans, Ga./Greenbrier) (1-0) relieved Marcello and worked 2.1 hitless innings to earn his first win of the season. Justin Thomas had two of the Broncs’ five hits and drove in two of their four runs. Mawson (0-1) was tagged for 10 runs (all earned) in 2.2 innings to suffer the loss.
Appalachian continues its seven-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Duke (7-6) at Smith Stadium. First pitch versus the Blue Devils is set for 5:30 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Hector Crespo, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics