Appalachian State baseball closed the non-conference portion of its schedule with an 8-3 home loss to Radford on Tuesday.
The Mountaineers matched a season high by hitting five doubles, including two apiece from Kendall McGowan (2-for-4, two runs) and Riley Smith (3-for-4). The relief pitching of Andrew Papp (five strikeouts in 2.1 innings) and Jason Cornatzer gave App State time to trim a 6-0 deficit to 6-3, but Radford added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Appalachian (17-34, 8-19 Sun Belt) ends the regular season with a three-game home series against league champion Coastal Carolina, which will be making its first trip to Boone. The games are scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m., with Graduation and Senior Day ceremonies planned for Saturday’s pregame.
It will be Little League Weekend at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium, with free admission for registered teams and $3 tickets for additional parents. In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, there will also be free admission for military personnel and $3 tickets for accompanying family members.
On Tuesday, the Highlanders (23-28) scored three times in the first inning against starter Brandon Boone, who hit two batters with a two-strike count and also had a 3-2 walk. A double steal of second and home produced Radford’s first run, and it benefited from a two-run single with two away.
The Highlanders were ahead 4-0 in the second inning when a balk call against the newly inserted Papp erased a pickoff that would have been the third out. Instead, a run scored on the play, and an RBI single gave Radford a 6-0 lead.
Papp struck out five of the nine batters he faced while lowering his ERA to 2.92, and Cornatzer didn’t allow any runs in the fifth or six innings, as he was helped by Smith throwing out two baserunners on steal attempts.
App State scored for the first time when McGowan hit a leadoff double in the fourth inning and came around on Conner Leonard’s RBI single. The Mountaineers added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, which also began with a leadoff double from McGowan. He advanced to third on Leonard’s hard-hit flyout and scored on Joel McDaniel’s groundout.
Smith delivered his second double of the game with two away and scored on Drew Beck’s RBI single.