WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Appalachian State rallied to overcome a 4-1 deficit at Wake Forest on Tuesday, but the Demon Deacons scored a tiebreaking run in the eighth inning of their 5-4 victory at Couch Ballpark.
Kendall McGowan and Bailey Welch hit solo homers in the sixth inning to pull App State (6-9) within 4-3, and Luke Drumheller had a game-tying RBI groundout in the seventh to bring home Tyler Leek, who had moved around the bases on a hit by pitch, stolen base and passed ball. In the bottom of the eighth inning, a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt set up an RBI single from Wake Forest’s Michael Turconi.
Welch and leadoff hitter Alex Leshock each went 2-for-4 at the plate, as Leshock opened the game with an infield single, stole second, moved to third on a Drumheller flyout and scored on a McGowan sacrifice fly. Leshock accounted for two of App State’s four steals, catcher Riley Smith threw out two steal attempts and three pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts against the Demon Deacons (10-8).
Starting pitcher Brandon Boone matched his career high of seven strikeouts while allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings. Wake Forest’s lead jumped from 2-1 to 4-1 on Chris Lanzilli’s two-run homer to left in the fifth inning, and relief pitcher Jason Cornatzer struck out both batters he faced in the fifth before striking out two more batters in a scoreless sixth and throwing a scoreless seventh. Jack Hartman replaced Cornatzer after Wake Forest’s sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning.
After Leshock and the Mountaineers manufactured a first-inning run, Wake Forest scored an unearned run in the first and added a run in the third. Boone stranded two first-inning runners with a strikeout and faced a bases-loaded jam with a 2-1 deficit in the third when he ended the inning by striking out two straight batters.
The Mountaineers return to action this weekend by opening Sun Belt Conference play with a three-game home series against Georgia State. Games are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium in Boone.
App State Baseball would like to thank AutoStar Nissan of Boone for serving as the presenting sponsor of the 2019 season.