KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Appalachian State Baseball posted six hits, including two apiece from Luke Drumheller and Robbie Young, but Tennessee claimed a 3-0 home win Sunday in their series finale.
App State starting pitcher Cameron Kepley struck out four batters and allowed three runs on four hits in six innings. Jack Hartman made his pitching debut for the Mountaineers with a scoreless seventh inning in which he had one strikeout, and Andrew Papp had one strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning.
Young and Phillip Cole delivered doubles for Appalachian, but Tennessee (3-0) took the lead for good on Evan Russell’s second-inning home run. A bases-loaded walk pushed the lead to 2-0 in the third inning, and Landon Gray added a solo homer in the sixth inning.
The Mountaineers (0-3) return to action Wednesday at North Carolina Central and play their home opener Friday against Manhattan in Game 1 of a three-game set in Boone.
On Sunday, Tennessee starting pitcher Will Neely allowed six hits and recorded four strikeouts in seven scoreless innings. Chase Wallace and Andrew Schultz pitched the final two innings.
App State’s best chances to score occurred in the third inning, when Young hit a one-out double, and the fourth inning, when Cole hit a one-out double and moved to third on a two-out throwing error that allowed Joel McDaniel to reach first.
Despite Tennessee taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning, Kepley kept the Mountaineers within striking distance by inducing an inning-ending flyout to center fielder Kyle Decker with the bases loaded, and Kepley recorded an inning-ending strikeout with a runner on second base in a scoreless fourth inning.
Making his freshman debut, Decker went 1-for-3, and catcher Riley Smith threw out a steal attempt to complete an inning-ending double play.