The Mountaineers fell short in both games during their doubleheader on Sunday against the Quinnipiac Bobcats, bringing the baseball team’s record to 1-8 for the pre-conference season.
Quinnipiac took an early lead in the first game, scoring five runs in the first two innings. The Mountaineers tried to push back with a run in the bottom of the second inning and the bottom of the sixth, but Quinnipiac scored 2 more runs in the sixth inning, setting the final score for the game at 7-2.
The Bobcats managed 13 hits against the Mountaineers in the opener. Between Quinnipiac’s performance at the plate and stellar pitching, the Bobcats secured the opener from both sides of the field.
Colin Schmid (0-2) started the game on the mound for the Mountaineers, but struggled, giving up six earned runs in six innings.
The Mountaineers’ young players have struggled to adjust to the college game all season according to head coach Billy Jones.
“We try to put as many guys out there as possible until we find the right continuity and chemistry,” Jones said. “There were a lot of freshmen and sophomores out there and that’s all they were, so they need to learn how to play baseball.”
In the second game of the day, the Mountaineers pushed back with an impressive two run lead in the first inning. Henry Davis and Beau Myers would score the only runs for the team in game two.
At first, Appalachian State looked like they were set for a repeat performance of Saturday’s doubleheader against Quinnipiac, where they dropped the opener before winning the second game, but the Bobcats fought back hard in the later innings to ensure victory.
“What we try to do is just win those nine innings that we’re in,” Jones said. “I mean we played six freshmen and three sophomores today so with that youth we actually competed, and we didn’t execute a few times but at least they’re competing and playing. We’ll continue to go to work and continue to try to pay attention to details.”
The Mountaineers kept their lead on the Bobcats until the top of the sixth inning, when the team rivaled App State by scoring two runs. The Mountaineers couldn’t keep the Bobcats from taking the lead when they scored their third and final run for the game in the seventh inning.
Related: How dedication and preparation are necessary to improve upon last season
“I thought they [Quinnipiac] were a pretty solid squad, they’re a bit older than us and they got all the little things done,” Myers said. “They had a lot of balls fall in the holes that we just couldn’t get to in time.”
Both teams hit well in the second game, with Quinnipiac recording 9 to App State’s 8. Each team had two errors during the game, and the Mountaineers fought hard in the last few innings to try and make a comeback against the Bobcats.
“The team needs to keep playing and playing hard because if we keep up the energy we’ll be alright,” pitcher Sean Mason said. “For me personally, I need to keep the same mentality every time I step out there, and if I can do that I’ll play fine.”
Jones said that he was proud of the team, and that they’re putting in the work to improve throughout the season. The team will play at the Elon tournament and two other games on the road to continue that improvement before heading back to Boone for their conference opener against Georgia Southern on March 11. The first pitch will be at 6 p.m., and the Mountaineers will take on Georgia Southern on March 12 and March 13 at home as well.
Story by: Jess Lyons, Senior Sports Reporter
Photo by: Dallas Linger, Photo Editor