DECATUR, Ga. — Conner Leonard's two-run double in the eighth inning cut Georgia State's lead in half, but Appalachian State opened its Sun Belt Conference road series against the Panthers with a 4-2 loss despite a strong start from junior Colin Schmid.

Schmid, who pitched all eight innings for the Mountaineers, recorded seven strikeouts, allowed seven hits and issued one walk. With career strikeouts leader Ryan Arrowood (252 strikeouts from 2009-12) in attendance to watch his alma mater, Schmidmoved into fourth place on App State's career list with 219 strikeouts and increased his season total to 78. That's tied for eighth place in school history, just below the 79 strikeouts he accumulated as a sophomore.
A single, double and back-to-back sacrifice flies to begin the bottom of the first inning gave Georgia State (24-25, 8-16) a 2-0 lead for talented starter Hunter Gaddis, and App State (16-32, 7-18) didn't allow the Panthers to score again until right-handed Ryan Glass pulled a two-run homer inside the left-field pole in the seventh inning. The Mountaineers answered back in the top of the eighth, with Leonard's double off the wall following a one-out single from Alex Leshock and two-out double from Bailey Welch.
Schmid took the mound in the seventh inning with only 68 pitches thrown and four hits allowed. After Georgia State put two runners on with one out in the second inning, he got the next 14 outs while facing only 14 batters. With left fielder Beau Myers beginning the streak with a running catch in foul territory, Schmid retired 11 straight before giving up a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning, but that runner was erased on a 4-6-3 double play that involved a nice play from Welch at second and a strong throw from shortstop Joel McDaniel to Leonard.
Offensively, Leonard increased his 2018 average to .333 with runners in scoring position, Leshock reached base three times during a 2-for-3 night that included a triple and Kendall McGowan went 2-for-4.
McGowan led off the top of the ninth inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a one-out walk to Drew Beck, who gave way to pinch-runner Robert Langdon. Georgia State's Jansen Acton retired the next two batters to record his sixth save and close out the eighth win of the season for Gaddis, who pitched eight innings.
Leshock's one-out triple in the third gave App State an early scoring chance, and Gaddis escaped a fifth-inning jam that was created when he plunked Myers and Leshock in back-to-back plate appearances with one out.
The series resumes Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at the GSU Baseball Complex in Decatur. App State's Andrew Vaccacio and Georgia State's Jake Rogers are the probable mound starters.



Distance Runners and Pole Vaulters Shine on Day 1 of Sun Belt Championships

SAN MARCOS, Tex. – Appalachian State women's track & field claimed three of the top four spots in the 10,000-meter run and two of the top four spots in the pole vault on Day 1 of the Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Texas State.
The Mountaineers sit in second place through the first day of competition with 31 points. South Alabama owns the team lead after Day 1 with 51 points.
In the 10,000-meter run, freshman Samantha Kolor (Cary, N.C./Green Hope), who was running in her first 10,000-meter race in her career, crossed second in 37:47.86. Junior Emily Fedders (Beckley, W. Va./Woodrow Wilson) finished right behind in third place in 38:33.74 and junior Erin Jameson (Pfafftown, N.C./Reagan) was fourth in 38:50.24.

"This was my first ever 10,000-meter run and I felt good throughout the race," said Kolor. "I had to hang with Tori [Shelton of UT Arlington]. She has an extra kick. I was able to get to the inside and just took a chance. I'm really happy with a second-place finish"
In the pole vault, junior Hannah Emery (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Lakeview) recorded a third-place finish with a season-best mark of 12-0.50 and junior Sofia San Miguel (Cary, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) was fourth with a PR height of 12-0.50.
Emery cleared the first height of 11-6.00 on her first try and also cleared the second mark of 12-0.50 on her first attempt. San Miguel also cleared the first height of 11-6.00 on her first try and was successful on her second attempt at 12-0.50.
Competing in her first ever Sun Belt Championship, senior Jessica Ricks (Rocky Mount, N.C./Northern Nash) posted an eighth-place finish in the javelin, with a new PR distance of 124-4. Her mark also moves her into ninth place on the program's all-time list.
In preliminary action, senior Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) qualified for Sunday's finals in the 1,500-meter run in 4:35.87.
Day 2 of the championships will begin with the decathlon at 10 a.m. EST. Field events will begin at 1 p.m. EST, with running events set for a 7:30 p.m. EST start.

Team Standings
1. South Alabama, 51
2. Appalachian State, 31
3. UT Arlington, 28
4. Arkansas State, 18
t5. Georgia State, 10
t5. Troy, 10
7. Coastal Carolina, 7
8. UL Monroe, 1
Bennett Places in 10,000-Meter Run; Johnson Continues Climb in Record Book on Day 1 of Sun Belt Championships
SAN MARCOS, Tex. -- Freshman Luke Bennett (Durham, N.C./Voyager Academy) finished in eighth place in the 10,000-meter run and sophomore Jabari Johnson (Yokosuka, Japan/Nile C. Kinnick) continued to climb the Appalachian State record books in the 200-meter dash on Day 1 of the Sun Belt Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Mountaineers sit ninth overall with one point through three scored events. UL Monroe owns the team lead after the first day of competition with 21 points, Louisiana is second with 19 points and South Alabama sits third with 18 points.

Bennett turned in a time of 33:13.71 in the 10,000-meter run, finishing six second shy of seventh place.
In the 200-meter prelims, Johnson finished second in his heat and fifth overall with a time of 20.89 seconds, which qualifies him for Sunday's finals. Johnson, who entered the meet with the sixth fastest time in program history in the event (21.07 seconds), climbs up to second all-time in program history with his new marl. He also is just the third player to run the 200-meter dash in under 21 seconds in program history.
In other preliminary action, senior Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) punched his ticket to the finals on Sunday in the 1,500-meter run with a 11th place finish and a time of 4:01.23. Sophomore Elliott Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham Early College), who is the reigning outdoor champion in the 400-meter hurdles, qualified for Sunday's finals in the event, with a fourth-place finish in 52.26 seconds.
Day 2 of the championships will begin with the decathlon at 10 a.m. EST. Field events will begin at 1 p.m. EST, with running events set for a 7:30 p.m. EST start.

Team Standings
1. UL Monroe, 21
2. Louisiana, 19
3. South Alabama, 18
4. Troy, 16
5. UT Arlington, 14
6. Texas State, 12
7. Arkansas State, 10
8. Coastal Carolina, 6
9. Appalachian State, 1
'Moms Strikeout 13 Batters in Loss to Columbia
Hickory, NC- The Hickory Crawmoms fell to the Columbia Fireflies 8-3 on Friday night. Despite the loss, the 'Moms won two out of three against the Fireflies to claim the series.
The 'Moms jumped out to an early lead, scoring the game's first run on a single by designated hitter Tyreque Reed that scored centerfielder Miguel Aparicio. First baseman Sam Huff gave the Crawmoms a two-run lead on a solo shot to left, his fourth homerun of the season.
Crawmoms starter AJ Alexy, coming off a 12-strikeout performance in West Virginia. The Fireflies loaded the bases in the third against Alexy, but Alexy escaped without allowing a run by striking out two batters. The Fireflies took the lead in the next inning, scoring three runs. Alexy finished the night with four innings and racking up seven strikeouts. They added another run in the fifth off reliever Joe Barlow to make the score 4-2. The run was the first allowed by Barlow of the season, after opening the year with 11 shutout innings. 
The Crawmoms got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on an Austin O'Banion triple that scored Reed. The RBI was O'Banion's first with Hickory. 
The Fireflies fought back to extend their lead, tagging reliever Joe Kuzia for two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make the score 8-3.  
'Moms third baseman Ryan Dorow and Reed both finished with two hits on the night. Through his first three games with the team, Reed has maintained a .500 average