Appalachian State University baseball looked to complete the two-game season sweep of University of North Carolina at Asheville on Tuesday after being swept by Texas State the past weekend.
Senior right handed pitcher Caleb McCann got his first start of the season against the Comets. McCann began the game looking as though he would have a great outing throwing only nine pitches in the first inning to get out the side with two fly outs and a strikeout.
The Apps got ahead in the bottom of the first when second baseman Matt Vernon scored centerfielder Brian Bauk and third baseman Beau Myers for an early lead of 2-0.
The second inning was not as easy for McCann as he loaded the bases by allowing a base hit to UNCA’s Scott Kobos and walking two other batters. As soon as McCann threw a ball right after loading the diamond, head coach Billy Jones and the rest of the infield met on the mound to settle McCann’s nerves.
McCann went on to strikeout the current batter and forced the next batter to fly out causing Asheville to strand three runners. When asked what his teammates and coach told McCann during the mound meeting, McCann said, “Just fill up the zone and attack them. Don’t be scared.”
The third inning would be McCann’s last after again loading the bases and UNCA scored two runs after McCann walked in two straight Bulldogs. Right handed pitcher Travis Holdman came in for McCann..
Myers failed to turn a fielder’s choice double play with a misthrow at second, but then an odd interference call was made by the infield umpire saying UNCA right fielder Kyle Carruthers was called out for interfering with Myers at third. When asked about the call, coach Jones said, “To be honest I have never seen that before. Our guy made it look like the guy was in the baseline.”
Just when the Apps seemed to have gotten a break with the strange call that kept a run from scoring, leftfielder Zach Santoro dropped a ball he attempted to dive for which scored two unearned runs. A moment coach Jones referred to as, “baseball karma” for the interference call.
The Mountaineers would score again in the sixth when Santoro hit his first career hit for a triple and scored in McCann who just hit a double. Shortstop Henry Davis would then lay down a suicide squeeze bunt to score in Santoro, but Santoro was called out at home after colliding with the catcher.
Right handed pitcher Matt Schaeffer came in for the seventh and allowed three earned runs to increase the Bulldogs’ lead 8-3, which would then become the final score for the Bulldogs’ win.
The Apps look to end their four game losing streak as they head to Monroe, La. for a three-game series against the Warhawks.