Despite six innings of near flawless pitching, the Appalachian State University baseball team was unable to maintain a two run lead, losing 4-2 to Wake Forest (24-15) Wednesday at the Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.


A Wake Forest error and a walk helped the Mountaineers (13-21) take an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. But the Demon Deacons was able to plate four runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the game.


Appalachian starter Sean Mason carried that lead into the seventh inning. But he was replaced by Taylor Thurber with one out and a man on first. Thurber coughed up a double to Matt Conway and he proceeded to load the bases by walking Conor Keniry. Robert Whaley, the third pitcher used by head coach Billy Jones in the seventh, came on in relief and gave up back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Evan Stephens and Jack Carey that gave WFU its 4-2 lead.


Mason, who went 6.1 innings, gave up a run on two hits with a career-high eight strikeouts. Thurber (0-5), who coughed up two runs, suffered the loss in relief.


Appalachian scored all of its runs in the second inning. Consecutive singles by Michael Pierson and Jaylin Davis got things started. Dillon Dobson hit a slow bouncer that starting pitcher Matt Pirro couldn't handle. That play led to an error and Pierson around to score App State's first run. Josh Zumbrook walked to load the bases and Tyler Stroup walked on four-straight pitches forcing in a run.


Stroup had App State's only RBI. Appalachian was held to four hits.


Evan Stephens led Wake Forest with two hits and two RBI. Parker Dunshee (2-1), WFU’s fourth pitcher, came on in the sixth and got the win.


Appalachian will continue on its challenging five-game road trip with a three-game weekend series at Elon starting on Friday. Coverage of that game begins at 6:20 p.m. on AM 1450, WATA.


NOTES: Matt Brill went hitless on Wednesday ending his 15-game hitting streak.....The Mountianeers are winless in eight matchups against ACC opponents this season. However, five of those seven loses have come at the hands of nationally ranked teams (three at No, 6 NC State, one at No. 22 North Caolina and one at No. 14 Clemson) and the other two defeats were heart breaking extra-inning losses to Notre Dame — both of which came in games that Appalachian led in the ninth inning.......Appalachian four hits were the lowest since they only managed four hits February 23 against NC State.



Photo Courtesy: Billy Jones, App State Athletics