Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) went 3-for-4 for the second-straight day but it wasn’t enough for Appalachian State University baseball in a 6-5 loss to Furman on Saturday afternoon at Latham Stadium.
Callaway’s RBI single in the first inning gave Appalachian State (7-4, 2-3 SoCon) an early 1-0 advantage but Furman (12-3, 4-1 SoCon) plated four runs in the third inning and led the rest of the way en route to its fifth-straight win. Appalachian pulled within one run on two occasions late in the ballgame but went down in order in the ninth to suffer back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Like in Friday night’s series-opening 3-1 loss, the Mountaineers struggled to get clutch hits in key situations on Saturday. In particular, Appalachian left two runners in scoring position in the fifth inning, couldn’t push any runs across after putting two men on with nobody out in the sixth and stranded the tying run at second in the eighth. In all, five of the seven runners that the Mountaineers left on base were stranded in scoring position.
In addition to Callaway’s three hits, Dillon Dobson (Boonville, N.C./Starmount) and Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) each went 2-for-4 to help pace Appalachian State’s 11-hit attack. Callaway, Holmes, Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford), William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) and Josh Zumbrook (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) all drove in runs.
Starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) allowed four runs in 2.2 innings to suffer the loss and fall to 0-2 on the season. Taylor Johnson went 2-for-4 and drove in four of Furman’s six runs. Alex Abrams (2-0), the first of four Paladin relievers to see action after starter Elliott Warford left the ballgame in the fourth inning due to illness, allowed one run in 1.1 innings to earn the win.
The Mountaineers will look to salvage one win in the weekend’s three-game set when the clubs square off in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Latham Stadium.
NOTES: Callaway has gone 6-for-8 in first two games of the series to raise his batting average from .206 to .310 ... Alex Leach (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single in the fourth inning ... with an RBI double in the eighth, each of Zumbrook’s nine career hits, including all eight this season, have still gone for extra bases (seven doubles, one triple and one home run) ... with Saturday’s defeat, Appalachian State will lose its regular-season series to Furman for the first time since 2006 ... the Mountaineers are under .500 in SoCon play for the first time since they fell to 13-14 in league action following a 10-7 loss at College of Charleston on May 15, 2011 ... after hitting 10 home runs in its first five games of the season, Appalachian has not homered in its last six contests.
Photo Courtesy: Will Callaway, ASU Athletics