Written by Mike Flynn
Saturday, 19 May 2012 20:36
Daniel Kassouf hit his 17th home run of the season to become Appalachian State baseball's all-time single-season home run leader in a 9-7 loss to Western Carolina in the 2012 regular-season finale on Saturday at Hennon Stadium. The No. 24 Mountaineers (38-14, 21-9 SoCon) took an early 2-0 lead when Kassouf blasted two-run bomb to left field in the fourth
inning, but the Catamounts (32-22, 16-14) were able to take back the lead with a five-run fifth inning en route to their second win in the series.
Western Carolina plated its first run in the bottom of the fourth before exploding for five in the fifth frame on three RBI hits and a two-run error.
Appalachian answered with four runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 6-6. The duo of Noah and Trey Holmes brought three across the plate as T. Holmes started the scoring with an RBI double before N. Holmes plated two with a single up the middle and later scored on Tyler Zupcic's bunt single. The Catamounts were able to retake the lead for good in the seventh inning after Dykota Speiss hit a three-run shot to right center to make it 9-6.
The Apps would close the gap to 9-7 in the ninth inning when Will Callaway came across to score on an error, but WCU's Vance Chavis induced a game-ending popup in the next at bat to pick up his third save of the season.
Jamie Nunn (0-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning while Western Carolina's Andrew Blackwell (2-0) picked up the win by tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in relief.
N. Holmes led Appalachian State with two runs in a 2-for-3 effort as the Mountaineers were outhit by an 11-8 margin thanks in part to four Catamounts collecting two hits each.
Despite the loss, the Apps clinched the No. 1 seed in the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament with their victory on Friday evening. The Mountaineers will face eighth-seeded Furman at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. to open the SoCon Tournament. Coverage of that game begins at 4:40 p.m. on AM 1450, WATA.
NOTES: Daniel Kassouf's 17th home run of the season on Saturday broke the previous record of 16 held by Pete Camelo (1982) and Andre Crawford (1986).
Photo Courtesy: Daniel Kassouf, ASU Athletics