App State baseball knocks off No. 24 Wake Forest 11-9

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Courtesy App State Athletics/Chad Mitchell

Junior utility man Andrew Greckel blasted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to lift App State over No. 24 Wake Forest 11-9.

Connor Davidson, Reporter

On Wednesday, the App State baseball team traveled to Winston-Salem to take on No. 24 Wake Forest just three days after losing a tight game to Kentucky. 

This game stayed close early on, and at the end of the third inning, both teams were tied 2-2. In the bottom of the fourth inning with the bases loaded, Wake Forest’s Adam Cecere hit a grand slam to right field to give the Demon Deacons a 6-2 advantage.

Despite giving up four runs, the Mountaineers bounced right back with a couple scores of their own. Sophomore infielder Luke Drumheller hit a double to send in two runners to score, narrowing the deficit to 6-4. To close out the inning, the Mountaineers scored four more times due to a passed ball, a throwing error, and a ground rule double from redshirt senior Luke Allison. After scoring six times in the fifth inning, App State held an 8-6 lead.

With two innings left to play, the Demon Deacons tied up the game at 8-8, and scored once more to regain the lead 9-8 heading into the final inning. In the top of the ninth, sophomore Phillip Cole reached with a single, allowing junior Tyler Leek to make a sliding play at the plate to level the score at 9-9. Right after this, junior Andrew Greckel stepped up to the plate and smashed a two-run homer to put the Mountaineers up 11-9.

“I just tried to stick to coach’s approach and put my best swing on it. The rest is history,” Greckel said postgame. 

Senior pitcher Jack Hartman then took the mound for the Mountaineers to close out the game, and after he allowed two on base, Hartman struck out three straight to secure the victory.

“It’s pretty awesome. I put a lot of faith in my catcher, and I came out (in the) rain, and you just got to deal with it,” Hartman said. “I just found a way, found a grip and just went with it.”

App State improves to 2-5 on the season with the win, and also ends a six-game losing streak to Wake Forest. Head coach Kermit Smith liked what he saw from his team in the big victory.

“I’m extremely proud of our team,” Smith said. “After losing a 15-inning heartbreaker on Sunday to scoring three tonight in the ninth and Jack (Hartman) finishing it up in the rain to win, that showed a ton of (resilience). We had some guys make some big pitches, get some big hits and make some big plays. This was a total team win.”