Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) drove in all five Appalachian State University baseball runs but four errors proved too costly for the Mountaineers in their 6-5 loss to No. 6 NC State on Friday
afternoon at Doak Field.
Davis gave Appalachian State (0-5) a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the third inning and pulled the Mountaineers within 6-5 with a three-run homer off NC State all-America pitcher Carlos Rodon in the eighth. The towering three-run blast to left field made Davis the first player to ever homer twice against Rodon, a junior that is widely considered the frontrunner to be selected No. 1 overall in Junes Major League Baseball Draft. Davis also took Rodon deep for a three-run shot in his first collegiate at-bat, helping lift App State to a 6-3 win over NC State in last years season opener.
Davis career-high five RBI were not enough for Appalachian State to overcome its four errors, which led to half of NC States six runs being unearned. The miscues were especially costly in the Wolfpacks three-run seventh inning, when the Mountaineers committed a pair of errors that helped NC State turn a narrow 3-2 lead into a commanding 6-2 advantage.
Despite the blunders in the field, Appalachian State put the tying run in scoring position in the top of the ninth when William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) singled with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch with two away. Bradley Morton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) followed with a fly ball that appeared bound for the gap in right center field but was tracked down by NC State right fielder Garrett Suggs for the final out.
Davis finished 2-for-4 to go along with his five RBI and was on deck when Morton flew out to end the game. Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) also had a pair of hits off Rodon, including a leadoff double in the Apps three-run eighth, and scored two runs.
Appalachian State starting pitcher Jamie Nunn (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) matched Rodon pitch-for-pitch for much of the afternoon but suffered the tough-luck loss and fell to 0-2 after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits over five-plus innings.
Rodon (1-1) earned the win after surrendering five runs (three earned) on five hits over eight stanzas. The big left-hander struck out nine and threw 108 pitches in his second start of the year.
Bubby Riley led NC State (4-1) offensively with two hits and two RBI.
Appalachian State and the sixth-ranked Wolfpack continue their three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Doak Field. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.
NOTES: Appalachian State has hit four of the 11 homers that Rodon has surrendered in his two-plus seasons at NC State ... Davis is 3-for-7 with two home runs and eight RBI in his career against Rodon ... Troutman is 3-for-6 overall with a double and a home run against Rodon ... Appalachian fell to 3-2 in its last five games against top-10 teams ... the Mountaineers dropped to 4-2 in its last six games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents ... four of Appalachians last six games versus the ACC have been against nationally ranked competition ... Fridays game was the first of 10 that App State will play against ACC clubs this season.
Photo Courtesy: Jaylin Davis, ASU Athletics