Deacons surge late, drop Mountaineers in Winston Salem

Bryant Barbery

Appalachian State’s baseball team took the short trip down the mountain to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest on Wednesday in a game the Mountaineers dropped 4-2.

The meeting marked the 50th all-time between the two programs with the Demon Deacons holding a commanding 37-13 series record against the Mountaineers.

App State came out strong behind freshman pitcher Sean Mason, who pitched seven and a half innings, allowed two hits, amassed eight strikeouts and allowed one run. App held a 2-0 lead from the second inning to the seventh before giving up four runs to the Deacons.

“Mason has done a great job,” head coach Billy Jones said. “He gives us a chance and plays against big schools all the time, which is what we need. We need to be able to use him out of the pin on weekends but he gives us a chance during the week.”

The Mountaineers gained an early lead in the second inning when junior third baseman Michael Pierson hit a single to right field. Sophomore center fielder Jaylin Davis continued the offense as he got a base hit to shallow left.

“I was just looking to get the inning started and stay with the approach I had,” Pierson said. “I got a pitch inside and did what I could do with it. Jaylin getting a hit at the next a bat helped and then we got a fortunately play from Dobson’s hit to get in some runs.”

Sophomore shortstop Dillon Dobson got a piece of a pitch sending a blooper of a ball to the pitcher, who fumbled the ball and hit Dobson in the back with a throw as he ran to first. The error enabled Dobson to advance to second and allowed Pierson to come in for home plate for the first run of the game.

Later in the inning with two outs, senior catcher Josh Zumbrook walked to load the bases. Freshman left fielder Tyler Stroup would be the second straight batter to be walked, ushering in an RBI for Stroup and send Davis in to give the Mountaineers their last run of the game, making the score 2-0.

“I thought we had a chance to get more than two in that second inning,” Jones said. “This is a tough place to hit and we had trouble seeing the ball, which is a credit to their pitchers.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Mason was taken out of the game and junior pitcher Taylor Thurber came in for relief.

Thurber allowed two runs the same inning, at which point junior pitcher Robert Whaley was brought in. Whaley finished out the game.

Wake Forest capitalized on the pitching of the inning and brought in four runs off of walks and solid hits from redshirt senior pinch hitter Jack Carey, who sliced an RBI-double to right field to bring in two runs on the basepath.

Four runs were scored in the seventh inning to put Wake Forest on top late. App State had one last chance to make something happen in the ninth, but the Deacons shut down the Mountaineers’ bats.

App State will play a rematch game against Wake Forest in Boone on April 29 at 6:30 p.m.

With the loss, the Mountaineers fall to 13-21 on the season and will continue their road stretch this weekend at conference rival Elon. App State will play at Elon in the series opener Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Story: Bryant Barbery, Intern Sports Reporter