BSB: App State Clinches Series Win, Reaches .500 in Sun Belt

Ashe County HS Athletics – Week of April 15
April 14, 2019
Financial News
April 15, 2019
BSB: App State Clinches Series Win, Reaches .500 in Sun Belt


BOONE, N.C. — Through multiple rain delays and five-run rallies, Appalachian State Baseball clinched a Sun Belt Conference series victory.
Kendall McGowan’s tiebreaking, two-run, two-out single capped a five-run bottom of the eighth inning Saturday as App State posted a 10-8 win in Game 2 of their weekend home series with ULM. That outcome followed a 3-2 comeback win Friday in Game 1, and the Warhawks held a 3-1 lead in the third inning of a series finale that also began Saturday but was suspended until Sunday because of fog.
Game 3 is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m., weather permitting.
App State (15-18, 7-7) had two five-run innings en route to a Game 2 victory that allowed the program to reach .500 in the Sun Belt for the first time this deep into a season. Play began at 10 a.m., and there were two rain delays before Kaleb Bowman completed his second save of the weekend with a flyout to McGowan at 4:18 p.m.
App State erased a 3-0 deficit with a five-run sixth, highlighted by Joel McDaniel’s tiebreaking, two-run homer. Heavy rain began to fall with the Mountaineers taking a 5-3 edge into the eighth inning, and ULM (15-20, 5-9) capitalized on difficult pitching conditions by drawing four walks, being hit by one pitch and delivering two hits during a delay-divided, five-run frame.
ULM had managed to tie the game on a hit by pitch when the first delay occurred with one out and the bases still loaded. After a 54-minute stoppage, the Warhawks moved ahead 8-5 with a two-run single and run-scoring wild pitch.
Losing a lead in adverse conditions set up the possibility of a hard-to-swallow defeat, but App State responded with five runs of its own during a half-inning that was interrupted by a delay of 1 hour, 55 minutes. Phillip Cole started the drawn-out rally with a leadoff double and moved to second on a walk to McDaniel.
Defensive replacement Riley Smith overcame an 0-2 count against new pitcher Jacob Barton to draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and App State pulled within 8-6 thanks to a bases-loaded single on a 3-2 pitch to Luke Allison, another defensive replacement. Robbie Young’s two-run single tied the game, although ULM did manage to throw out a baserunner on the play.
A strikeout set up a two-out plate appearance for another defensive replacement, CJ Brown, who walked on a 3-2 pitch with Sun Belt batting leader Luke Drumheller on deck. With heavy rains suspending play for nearly two hours, Drumheller walked on a 3-2 pitch once play resumed.
The right-handed McGowan singled through the right side on the first pitch of the next at-bat, bringing home Young and Brown.
Bowman allowed an off-the-wall double to begin the ninth inning, but a popout to second and a strikeout preceded the game-ending flyout.  
Bowman earned his fourth save of the season while lowering his ERA to 1.46, the second-best mark in the country for a reliever with at least 17 appearances, and Andrew Papp earned the win despite pitching in the tough eighth-inning conditions. He relieved freshman Tyler Tuthill, who took the mound in the eighth inning with just four hits and three runs allowed.
App State had overcome a 2-0 deficit with a middle-inning rally Friday, and it erased a three-run deficit in Game 2 with its five-run sixth. Tyler Leek drew a one-out walk and scored on an RBI double from Drumheller, who has hit safely in 25 of the last 27 games.
Drumheller raced home on an RBI hit from McGowan, and player contact behind the plate led to a 14-minute stoppage to determine if McGowan would have to return to first from second.
He did, but an errant pickoff throw allowed him to advance to third, and he scored the tying run on Cole’s RBI single. McDaniel followed with a 411-foot shot to center for his team-leading fifth  homer of the season and his second homer of the series, this one with an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to the @AppStSportsData account.
McGowan finished with three RBIs and, along with Cole, went 3-for-5. Drumheller (2-for-4) and Young (2-for-3) also had multi-hit games.
In Game 3, the first of two early doubles from Leek set up an RBI single from McGowan, but ULM took a 3-1 lead on Braedon Barrett’s opposite-field, three-run double down the left-field line in the second inning.
App State Baseball would like to thank AutoStar Nissan of Boone for serving as the presenting sponsor of the 2019 season.