Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:12

App State Baseball Drops Home Finale to UNC-Asheville

Kendall McGowan hit an inside-the-park home run Kendall McGowan hit an inside-the-park home run Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State scored several times in unorthodox fashion, but UNC Asheville used a six-run third to take control in a 13-7 victory Tuesday at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

It was the home finale for the Mountaineers (21-28) before they close the regular season with a series at Coastal Carolina from Thursday through Sunday.

The Sun Belt Conference Championships, which will also be held in Conway, S.C., begin Tuesday. With a 12-14 league record, App State is currently in ninth place in the 12-team conference, and 10 teams make the tournament.

In the last non-conference game of 2019, Luke Drumheller hit a first-inning double down the right-field line and came all the way around to score thanks to a throwing error after he had stopped at second.

UNC Asheville (15-33) loaded the bases with nobody out in the third against starter Will Sprinkle before scoring on an infield single, three straight walks and two straight sacrifice flies.

The Mountaineers trimmed their deficit to 6-3 thanks to an inside-the-park home run off the left-center wall from Kendall McGowan, who homered for the seventh time in the last 11 games, and Tyler Leek’s RBI triple in which Riley Smith scored as a collision with the fence caused the center fielder to lose control of the hard-hit ball.

The Bulldogs responded with a three-run sixth and fourth-run sixth to move ahead 13-3.

McGowan sped around the bases in 16.23 seconds on a ball that was hit with a 98 mph exit velocity, according to the @AppStSportsData account, and he was responsible for one of App State’s eight hits.

App State seniors Joel McDaniel, Drew Beck (double) and CJ Brown had hits in their home finales, and freshman Hayden Cross picked up two RBIs on an eighth-inning single that scored McDaniel and Brown. Another senior, Bobby Hampton, recorded one strikeout in a scoreless ninth inning.

The Bulldogs faced seven App State pitchers, posted 14 hits and capitalized on eight walks.

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