Junior William Head went 2-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and stole two bases as Appalachian State University baseball captured its Southern Conference opener over Davidson, 4-1, Friday night at Wilson Field. Appalachian (6-1, 1-0
SoCon) claims its 11th-straight victory over the Wildcats in the historical series, while Davidson suffers its second-straight loss on the season and moves to 4-2 overall.
Sophomore Jamie Nunn added his third victory of the season, going seven innings and tallying eight strikeouts with three walks. Nunn limited Davidson’s hitters to just one run while pitching with the lead since the third inning.
App State got on the scoreboard first when senior Hector Crespo reached second on a throwing error by Davidson third-baseman David Daniels. With Head up, the Mountaineers put on a hit-and-run and executed it to perfection with a grounder up the middle, scoring Crespo.
The Mountaineers added to their lead in the 5th as Head added his second RBI of the game, driving in freshman Dillon Dobson with an RBI single. Head eventually scored later in the inning on sophomore Alex Leach’s double, putting App State ahead, 3-0. For Leach, it was his 13th RBI in seven games this season.
The Wildcats struck back in the bottom half with a one-out triple by Forrest Brand, which plated Michael Zeblo. Nunn eventually got out of trouble in the fifth, as the Apps got an insurance run in the seventh as Head led off the inning reaching on an error. Two wild pitches by Davidson’s Jip Richards brought Head home for the final Mountaineer run.
After Nunn handled seven complete innings, the bullpen duo of sophomore Taylor Thurber and senior Rob Marcello shut the door for the Appalachian win. Thuber faced four Wildcat hitters and allowed one hit. Marcello, who found some trouble in the ninth with back-to-back Davidson hits, struckout two of the final three to seal the victory.
Appalachian returns to Wilson Field for the second game of the conference series on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.
NOTES: Marcello gave up a hit for the first time this season, giving up two in the ninth inning ... half of Leach’s hits (12) have been doubles (6), and he is tied for the team lead with one triple and two home runs ... Head increased his team-leading batting average to .462 ... in 20 innings, Nunn has recorded 19 strikeouts on the season ... the Mountaineers give Davidson’s Ryan Lowe his first loss of the season.
Photo Courtesy: William Head, ASU Athletics