Appalachian State University baseball banged out 12 hits but left 12 runners on base in a 4-3 loss to Wofford on Sunday afternoon at Russell C. King Field. Appalachian State (11-18, 5-3 SoCon) stranded baserunners in every inning but the fourth and left seven men on base over the final four frames of its eighth one-run loss of the season.


Despite the plethora of squandered scoring opportunities, Appalachian had a great chance to pull even in the top of the ninth inning. Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) led off the ninth with a sharp single up the middle and Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) followed with a four-pitch walk. Wofford closer Eric Eck then threw a wild pitch on his first delivery to cleanup hitter Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) and Troutman and Davis moved up one base each to put runners on second and third with no outs.


Four pitches later, Pierson hit a high chopper to Wofford first baseman James Plaisted. Plaisted fielded and threw home in an attempt to cut down Troutman, who broke from third on contact. Troutman slid head-first and appeared to get to the plate before a tag was applied but was called out by home-plate umpire Craig Barron, much to the consternation of Troutman, the Mountaineers’ coaching staff and Appalachian State fans in attendance.


Davis scored one batter later on an RBI groundout by Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) but instead of tying the game with one out, Davis’ run only cut the deficit to 4-3 with two outs. Appalachian’s next batter, Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount), grounded out to first to end the game.


After beating Wofford (18-14, 2-7 SoCon) by a combined 16 runs in the first two games of the series, Appalachian State never led in Sunday’s finale. The Terriers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first but the Mountaineers tied it at 1-1 in the top of the second on an RBI single by William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville). Wofford scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to retake a 3-1 lead and the teams swapped runs in the seventh —Appalachian’s coming on an RBI single by Troutman — to set up the wild finish.


Appalachian State starter Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) pitched well for the most part but suffered his first loss of the season after allowing four runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings of work. The southpaw struck out six but fell to 1-1 on the campaign.


Troutman, Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) and Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) led Appalachian offensively with two hits apiece. Brill’s two-hit day included a double (the Mountaineers’ only extra-base hit of the ballgame) and extended his team-best hitting streak to 11 games. The true freshman is batting .450 (18-for-40) during the 11-game streak.


Seth Neely went 2-for-4 to lead Wofford.


Appalachian State begins a four-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts High Point. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium in Boone, N.C.



Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Springs, ASU Athletics