SAN MARCOS, Texas — A seventh-inning lightning delay interrupted a pitchers’ duel that continued with an Appalachian State comeback and ended with a 3-2 loss at Texas State.
A bases-loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the win to the Bobcats (12-4-1, 2-0). The Mountaineers (5-11, 0-2) will finish their first conference series of 2018 on Sunday at noon ET.
Drew Beck’s two-out RBI single after Alex Leshock reached on a misplayed third strike with one away enabled App State to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning, shortly after play resumed and relief pitcher Luke Watts stranded three Texas State baserunners with a strikeout.
The Mountaineers loaded the bases in the top of the ninth as Jason Avers reached on another misplayed third strike, pinch-runner Robert Langdon moved to third on Joel McDaniel’s one-out double and CJ Brown drew a two-out walk. Texas State right fielder Dylan Paul made a diving catch to prevent a go-ahead hit from Leshock.
A leadoff single, sacrifice bunt and intentional walk created a possible double-play situation in the bottom of the ninth, but two more walks closed the game.
McDaniel (2-for-4) led App State’s offense with two doubles, and Beck accounted for both RBIs. Defensively, catcher Riley Smith erased three baserunners, as he threw out a potential base stealer in the second inning, picked a runner off first with two Bobcats aboard in the third inning and threw out a potential base stealer in the eighth inning.
App State starting pitcher Colin Schmid allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five batters in 6.1 innings. Kaleb Bowman and Watts (0-1) pitched out of the bullpen.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Bobcats broke through with two runs, only one of which was earned. Schmid retired the first two Texas State batters, but two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Derek Scheible. His infield single to short brought home the first run, and a throwing error enabled a second run to score on the play.
App State responded with one run in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Beck, but that’s all the Mountaineers mustered after Leshock hit a leadoff single and moved to third on a Bailey Welch double.
Appalachian faced a 2-1 deficit with one out and two runners on in the seventh when Bowman replaced Schmid, who had issued two walks in the inning. Bowman followed a wild pitch with a swinging strikeout, and a lightning delay halted play for the next 84 minutes. When play resumed, Watts loaded the bases with a walk and escaped the jam with a strikeout.