BOONE, N.C. (4/29/16) – The Arkansas State baseball team got a gritty effort from Tyler Zuber in game one of a doubleheader against Appalachian State to win 9-7, but fell to the Mountaineers 9-2 in the nightcap to split a doubleheader Friday at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium in Boone, N.C.
Zuber came in with two outs in the bottom of the second inning and finished game one as the junior from Pine Bluff, Ark., tossed 133 pitches in relief. The right-hander only allowed one run on a solo homer and gave up nine hits with three walks and seven strikeouts to pick up the win for A-State (20-22, 9-14 SBC)
Joe Schrimpf and Tanner Ring each hit a home run, while Jake Bakamus reached four times in five at-bats to lead the Red Wolves’ offense. Bakamus was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a RBI, and two walks.
Sean Mason took the loss for Appalachian State (12-31, 7-16 SBC) in the first game after allowing three runs and only recording one out. Starter Bobby Hampton gave up four runs (three earned) in five innings, while Reed Howell gave up two runs (one earned) in 3.2 innings of work after Mason. Tanner Mann-Fix led the Apps with a 4-for-4 effort at the plate with two doubles, a home run, and two RBis.
A-State began game one with a bang as the second batter of the game, Schrimpf, lined a shot over the left-field fence for the first run of the game. Ring followed two batters later with a mammoth home run to left-center field after Garrett Rucker reached on an Appalachian State error. The Red Wolves added a single run to go ahead 4-0 in the top of the second when Tony Ortiz hit a RBI double to left-center field to score Daltan Lovell.
However, the Mountaineers responded in a big way in the bottom of the second inning with six runs off A-State starter Cody Jackson. Jackson retired the first hitter of the inning, but a walk, single, and ground-rule double put the Apps on the board. The Mountaineers got two more runs on a sacrifice fly and RBI single, but the big blow was a three-run homer by Matt Vernon to give App State a 6-4 edge. Zuber came in and got the last out of the inning after two hits.
The score remained the same until the top of the sixth when A-State loaded the bases with one out and Ty White slapped a single just out of the reach of App State’s second baseman Jason Curtis to score two runs to tie the game 6-6. Schrimpf singled home the go-ahead run and the Red Wolves took a 7-6 lead into the seventh inning where the visitors added two more runs on a Bakamus RBI single and Lovell RBI double to put the tally at 9-6.
Mann-Fix hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make the score 9-7, but that was all the Mountaineers could muster off of Zuber.
The win in game one ran A-State’s winning streak to six games, the longest for the team since 2014 and tied for the longest during head coach Tommy Raffo’s tenure.
Appalachian Starter Breydan Gorham was fantastic in game two as he tossed seven innings and allowed just one run (earned) on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts to pick up the win. Bryan Ayers took the loss for A-State after allowing five runs (all earned) in 3.2 innings. Coulton Lee, Zachary Patterson, and Bo Ritter all saw action out of the Arkansas State bullpen.
The Red Wolves struck first in the contest with a RBI safety squeeze by Jeremy Brown in the top of the second, but the Apps responded in the bottom half with a RBI on an E6 that would have been the second out of the inning after Mann-Fix tripled with one out in the inning.
The Mountaineers’ biggest inning came in the bottom of the fourth when Mann-Fix hit a solo home run with one out in the inning. It was the second round-tripper of the day for Mann-Fix. Vernon then followed with his second three-run long ball of the day later in the frame and put the score at 5-1 in favor of Appalachian State.
Appalachian State added runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings on RBI singles for a 7-1 advantage. Austin Baker cut the score to 7-2 in the top of the eighth with a RBI single, but App State bounced back with back-to-back doubles in the bottom half for an 8-2 lead. Another double, this one by Connor Leonard, plated another run and set the final at 9-2.
Ring led the Red Wolves at the plate with a 2-for-4 effort, while Brown and Baker drove in the team’s runs. Vernon led Appalachian State with three hits and four RBIs in the nightcap.
Arkansas State and App State will play the rubber game at 12:00 p.m. (CT) tomorrow. The game was originally scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (CT), but has been moved up two hours in anticipation of rain in the area later in the afternoon.For the latest on A-State baseball follow the team by logging onto the Arkansas State Baseball Facebook page or by following the team on Twitter (@ASTATEBaseball) and Instagram (arkansasstatebaseball).