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Black and Gold take down Gardner-Webb to open season

Junior+infielder+Joseph+Zamora+swings+at+a+low+pitch+against+Gardner-Webb+Feb.+16.+The+Mountaineers+opened+their+season+2-1+with+a+series+against+the+Runnin+Bulldogs.
Courtesy of David Katzenmaier, App State Athletics
Junior infielder Joseph Zamora swings at a low pitch against Gardner-Webb Feb. 16. The Mountaineers opened their season 2-1 with a series against the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

App State Baseball traveled down to Boiling Springs to face the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs for their opening series this weekend.

On Friday, the Mountaineers took an early lead and never relinquished it, winning 9-5.

Junior infielder Joseph Zamora went 2-4 with a homer, sacrifice fly, five RBIs and two runs, hitting a two-run shot in the second inning that gave the Black and Gold an early lead.

To support this great performance, graduate student first baseman Drew Holderbach batted 2-5 with two doubles and a walk while senior outfielder Xavier Moronta batted 2-5 with a double and a walk.

App State trotted out redshirt junior pitcher Bradley Wilson to start this game and he delivered, giving up one hit and one earned run in four innings pitched to go along with the win.

In relief, junior pitcher Collin Welch allowed four runs in three innings, and sophomore pitcher Everette Harris and redshirt sophomore pitcher Zach Lewis both pitched one scoreless inning to end the game.

Saturday, the Mountaineers’ offense was silenced and the Runnin’ Bulldogs took the game 5-1.

The only run came from redshirt junior outfielder Austin St. Laurent, who went 0-3 with an RBI and a walk; and the only multi-hit game came from Moronta, who batted 2-3 with two doubles and a walk.

The pitching had a so-so game with sophomore pitcher Jackson Steensma giving up four runs in five innings and junior pitcher Cody Little allowing one run in four innings.

The Mountaineers managed to finish the series in style, pulling off a comeback victory by winning 15-11 in extra innings after being down 7-1 in the bottom of the third.

Star senior outfielder CJ Boyd batted 4-7 with a homer and four RBIs, hitting a two-run shot in the sixth to bring the Mountaineers back within one, making an impact after quiet outings in his first two games.

He was just one of three Mountaineers to hit home runs, with junior catcher Braxton Church going yard in the sixth and junior infielder Adam Quintero hitting a three-run shot in the seventh.

The pitching staff put together a somewhat shaky game, although it was still enough to pull out the win.

Senior pitcher Dante Chirico gave up six runs in two innings before redshirt sophomore pitcher Jordan Fisher relieved and threw three innings of one-run ball. Then, redshirt freshman pitcher Max Tramontana and senior pitcher Ryan Sleeper combined for two innings, with each giving up two runs. Senior pitcher Grey LaSpaluto played for two scoreless innings and Lewis came in and closed out the tenth inning, allowing no runs.

The Mountaineers closed out the series 2-1 to start the season.

The Black and Gold will look to continue this momentum in High Point Tuesday at 4 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

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About the Contributor
Clay Durban, Reporter
Clay Durban (he/him) is a junior digital journalism major from Asheville, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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