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Mountaineers drop series to Troy

Max Sanborn
Redshirt junior third baseman Austin St. Laurent reaches for a Troy player April 14.

The Mountaineers returned to Boone to take on Troy in a three-game series this past weekend.

After the Friday game was canceled due to inclement weather, the first two games of the series were played on Saturday.

In the first game, the Mountaineers were blown out 17-2 in an eight-inning, run-rule loss.

After two-scoreless innings, the Trojans scored four runs in the third to take an early lead.

The Mountaineers responded with a solo homer by senior outfielder CJ Boyd in the bottom of the inning, shrinking their deficit to 4-1.

The Trojans responded with five runs in the fifth to pad their lead before the Mountaineers were able to score again.

This occurred in the sixth, with Boyd driving in another run on a sacrifice fly.

The Mountaineers failed to score again, with Troy extending their lead to 17-2 before the 10-run rule came into effect, ending the game after the eighth.

Boyd was the lone bright spot for the Mountaineers in this dismal performance, hitting 2-2 with a homer, sacrifice fly and two RBIs.

The pitching staff was a huge reason for this loss, walking 17 batters and giving up 17 earned runs in a putrid outing.

In the second game, the Mountaineers came roaring back with a vengeance, winning 11-1 in seven innings.

Junior infielder Adam Quintero hits a pitch against Troy April 14. The junior from Monroe is batting .304 this season.

The game started out with a bang, with senior outfielder Banks Tolley hitting a solo shot in the first to give App State the lead.

Boyd hit another solo homer in the third to pad the Black and Gold’s lead before the Trojans responded with a homer of their own in the fourth to decrease their deficit to 2-1.

The Mountaineers proceeded to rattle off nine unanswered runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to reach the final score. This stretch included homers by Tolley, junior catcher Braxton Church and redshirt freshman catcher Graham Smiley.

Tolley and Boyd stood out, with Tolley hitting 2-4 with two homers and four RBIs and Boyd going 2-4 with a homer and two RBIs.

The pitching staff bounced back to put together one of their best season outings.

Sophomore pitcher Jackson Steensma put together a brilliant start, going six innings while giving up one run and striking out 10.

“Just trusted my stuff, just knowing that my best stuff can overpower any hitter that gets in the box,” Steensma said.

Steensma was relieved by junior pitcher Collin Welch, who played one inning while giving up no runs and striking out two before the game was ended due to the run rule.

On Sunday, the Mountaineers took an early lead before allowing Troy to come back and ultimately win 13-5.

Troy took the lead with a one-run top of the first before the Mountaineers responded in the bottom of the inning. Redshirt junior infielder Austin St. Laurent hit a two-run homer, Church drove in another with a triple and graduate student first baseman Drew Holderbach drove one more to take a 4-1 lead.

App State tacked on one more as St. Laurent doubled in the second to extend their lead to 5-1.This would be all the Mountaineers mustered up and the Trojans responded by rattling off 12 unanswered to win the game 13-5.

Despite the disappointing end to the game, St. Laurent stood out, going 2-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs.

The pitching staff had another rough outing, allowing 13 runs in the Trojans win.

Senior pitcher Dante Chirico started the game, going five innings while giving up four runs and striking out three.

Chirico was relieved by redshirt sophomore pitcher Jordan Fisher, who gave up three runs in 0.1 innings of work.He was replaced by junior pitcher Cody Little. Little went 1.2 innings, allowed no runs and struck out one.

Little was relieved by redshirt sophomore pitcher Zach Lewis, who allowed five runs in one inning before being subbed out.

Redshirt freshman Max Tramontana came in and gave up one run in one inning of work, striking out one in the process.

This loss meant that the Mountaineers finished the series 1-2, their season’s first home series loss.

The Black and Gold will return to action in Cullowhee on Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Western Carolina. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
Clay Durban
Clay Durban, Reporter
Clay Durban (he/him) is a junior digital journalism major from Asheville, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Max Sanborn
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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