William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) capped a four-hit day with a two-out RBI single in the top of the 11th inning that lifted Appalachian State University baseball to a 10-9 win over Furman on Sunday at Latham Stadium.
Appalachian State (8-4, 3-3 SoCon) banged out a season-high 17 hits in the victory, including three in the decisive 11th inning. Head capped the 17-hit outburst when he laced a 3-1 pitch into center field with two outs in the 11th to drive Alex Leach (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) in from second base and break a 9-9 deadlock.
Head’s game-winning single was the highlight of his career-best four-hit afternoon. The 4-for-6 performance also included the first home run of his career, a solo shot in the sixth that gave the Mountaineers, who once trailed 5-2, a 7-5 lead. Appalachian extended the advantage to 9-6 but Furman (12-4, 4-2 SoCon) rallied for three runs in the eighth to knot the score at 9-9.
The score remained 9-9 until the 11th when Leach led off with a single to right-center field that extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Two batters later, Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) singled up the middle for his fourth hit of the game, which moved Leach to second. John Kincaid (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) struck out for the second out of the inning but Head followed with the clutch two-out game winner.
Furman made it interesting with back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the 11th but freshman Clyde Tate (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) retired the final two batters of the ballgame to seal the victory and earn the first win of his career.
In addition to Head’s and Davis’ four hits apiece, Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) chipped in with three hits and Dillon Dobson (Boonville, N.C./Starmount) homered twice and finished with four RBI to pace the Mountaineers offensively. With his three-run home run in the fourth and solo blast in the eight, Dobson became the first Appalachian State freshman to homer twice in a game since Ben Billingsley accomplished the feat against Davidson on May 18, 2006.
With the victory, Appalachian snapped Furman’s five-game winning streak and ended its own two-game skid (its first of the season). Appalachian State returns to action on Tuesday when it opens a two-game mid-week series at Georgia. The series opener is set for 7 p.m. at Foley Field in Athens, Ga.
NOTES: Appalachian State snapped a skid of six-straight games without a home run in a big way, going deep a season-high four times on Sunday ... in addition to Dobson’s two homers and Head’s solo blast, Crespo also had a solo shot for his first long ball of the season ... despite the six-game homerless streak, Appalachian has still gone deep 14 times in its first 12 games of the year ... last season, the Mountaineers did not hit their 14th home run of the year until the 18th game of the campaign ... Greenville native Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) went 7-for-13 for the weekend in his hometown ... for the first time in his career, junior catcher Josh Zumbrook (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) singled ... prior to his fourth-inning line-drive single off the leg of Furman pitcher Drake Browne, the first nine hits of Zumbrook’s career had all gone for extra bases (seven doubles, one triple and one home run).
Photo Courtesy: William Head, ASU Athletics