GREENVILLE, S.C. — Leading by two entering the bottom of the seventh inning at Furman, Appalachian State Baseball allowed an unearned run to tie the game in a two-run seventh, and the Paladins scored an unearned run in the ninth to claim a 6-5 victory in walk-off fashion Saturday night.
App State (4-8) is in Greenville for the First Pitch Invitational, which will conclude Sunday at Fluor Field after inclement weather affected the first two days of the downtown event. The Mountaineers are scheduled to play Furman (3-8) at Fluor Field on Sunday at 9 a.m. and also face Michigan State (3-10) at the Greenville Drive’s home stadium at 1 p.m. to complete a Sunday doubleheader.
With the altered Saturday schedule leading App State to play a road game at Furman, starting pitcher Will Sprinkle recorded a career-high nine strikeouts and allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. Relief pitcher Andrew Papp struck out two batters and allowed no earned runs on two hits in 1.2 innings.
Appalachian State, which had followed a two-run homer from Furman’s Sterling Turmon in the first inning with Phillip Cole’s two-out, two-run double in the second, broke a 3-3 tie by loading the bases with one out in the sixth on consecutive singles by Luke Drumheller, Kendall McGowan and Dalton Williams. Riley Smith’s sacrifice fly and Robbie Young’s single produced a 5-3 advantage.
Furman used a two-out RBI double in the seventh to pull within 5-4 and end a strong night from Sprinkle, who had retired 12 of 13 batters and recorded seven strikeouts in a four-inning span counting the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
A two-out fielding error in the outfield allowed Furman to tie the game with Papp on the mound in the seventh, and Papp struck out the opening batter in the bottom of the ninth inning before back-to-back infield errors set up a game-winning RBI single from Dax Roper.
McGowan, Williams and Tyler Leek all went 2-for-4 for App State, as Williams tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning with an RBI groundout. Drumheller reached base three times while going 1-for-3 and extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Mountaineers left two runners on base during its two-run sixth, and Leek reached second with nobody out in the seventh thanks to an infield single and passed ball. Walks by Drumheller and McGowan put two runners on with nobody out in the eighth, and Young’s two-out walk loaded the bases, but Furman reliever Rob Hughes ended that threat with a strikeout.
Leek opened the ninth with a single to center and stole second, but the Mountaineers weren’t able to bring him home in.
Tyler Tuthill and Cameron Kepley are the probable mound starters against Furman and Michigan State on Sunday. The Furman game is scheduled to be streamed, but not the Michigan State game.