BOONE, N.C. — Louisiana took both games of a Saturday doubleheader against Appalachian State’s baseball team, winning 5-4 and 6-2 in Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
App State returns to action next week with consecutive home games against North Carolina Central on Tuesday and Western Carolina on Wednesday.
The short-handed Mountaineers staged late rallies in each game Saturday, following a three-run seventh in the opener with a one-run ninth and then breaking through for two eighth-inning runs in the Sun Belt Conference series finale.
On the mound, App State’s bullpen allowed seven hits and just one run in 10.2 innings Saturday.
Andrew Papp, who had two scoreless innings at North Carolina on Tuesday, allowed one hit over three scoreless innings to close Saturday’s opener. Will Sprinkle entered the finale in the second inning, pitched 3.2 scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 0.89 by extending his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings.
Cameron Kepley allowed one run in three innings, and Jason Cornatzer pitched a scoreless ninth.
“Our bullpen was excellent,” App State head coach Kermit Smith said. “After a strong appearance earlier in the week, Papp gave us another good outing, and the three freshmen pitched really well. I’m really proud of them.”
App State (8-26, 1-14) trailed 5-0 through four innings of the doubleheader opener, and Conner Leonard delivered an RBI single in the seventh after Bradley Davis hit a leadoff double. Leonard moved to third on a double by Jason Avers, and they both scored on an RBI single from CJ Brown. Joel McDaniel’s one-out triple in the ninth set up an RBI single from Avers, but a fielder’s choice and strikeout ended the game.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (20-17, 8-7) led 5-0 through two innings and 6-0 heading to the bottom of the eighth in the second game. Drew Beck hit a two-run single with two away to score Beau Myers and Bailey Welch. Myers walked before Welch was hit by a pitch, and they executed a double steal to put two runners in scoring position for Beck.
In the two games Saturday, Beck (third baseman), McDaniel (shortstop) and Welch (second baseman) made several nice defensive plays while combining for no errors and 17 assists, including 11 in the finale.