Written by Mike Flynn
Saturday, 02 March 2013 21:51
Davidson plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Appalachian State University baseball on Saturday evening, handing the Mountaineers their first Southern Conference loss of the
season. Mountaineer starter Jeffrey Springs allowed just one run in six innings and totaled six strikeouts in the no-decision. Springs left the game with a 2-1 lead in the seventh thanks sacrifice flies by Dillon Dobson in the fourth and Josh Zumbrook in the top half of the seventh.
After giving up a double to Chris Dyer to lead off the bottom of the seventh, Springs gave way to reliever Josh Wilson, got the Mountaineers out of the jam by recording three-straight outs to close the frame with the Mountaineers’ one-run lead still intact.
In the top of the eighth, Will Callaway extended Appalachian’s lead to 3-1 with the Mountaineers’ third sacrifice fly of the ballgame, a towering fly ball to right field to right field that brought Hector Crespo home from third. The RBI was Callaway’s sixth on the young season.
After a one-two-three eighth inning, Wilson returned to mound in the ninth looking to nail down the nine-out save. However, the right-hander issued a leadoff walk and surrendered back-to-back to load the bases with no outs and end Wilson’s night in favor of sophomore Taylor Thurber.
Thurber got the first batter he faced to ground out to second but the grounder allowed Davidson’s Ryan Lowe to score from third to cut Appalachian’s lead in half and put the winning run on second base.
One batter later, DC’s Sam Foy singled up the middle to bring the tying run home from third and when Mountaineer center fielder Jaylin Davis approached the ball, he slipped on the soggy turf. The ball scooted past Davis, allowing pinch-runner Aaron Ruzinsky to score the winning run from second.
Appalachian State managed only six hits in the heartbreaking loss, highlighted by Alex Leach’s seventh double of the season. The Mountaineers struck out nine times in seven innings against Davidson starter Danny Mooney but DC’s Matt Saeta earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
Appalachian’s first loss to Davidson since 2009 snapped the Mountaineers’ 11-game winning streak versus the Wildcats.
App State can win the opening SoCon series of the season by claiming the rubber game of the three-game set on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Davidson’s Wilson Field.
NOTES: Three of the six Mountaineer hits were doubles (Leach, Callaway, Burris) ... in the first two games of this weekend’s series, Appalachian’s starting pitchers (Springs and Jamie Nunn) have combine for 13 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts and just four walks ... William Head continues to lead the team with a .412 batting average after going 1-for-4 tonight ... Davis struck out in each of his first two at-bats but reached both times on dropped third strikes ... Sunday’s probable starters are Sam Agnew-Wieland vs. Clark Beeker.
Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Springs, ASU Athletics