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Mountaineers sweep Siena in Hickory

Courtesy of Joel Franquiz, App State Athletics
Redshirt junior outfielder Austin St. Laurent runs the bases against Siena Feb. 25.

The Mountaineers made the trip down the mountain to Hickory this weekend to face the Siena Saints.

On Friday, the Mountaineers unleashed an offensive onslaught to take the first game 15-7. Redshirt junior infielder Austin St. Laurent and senior outfielder CJ Boyd both had outstanding performances.

St. Laurent batted 3-6 with two homers, a triple, three runs and five RBIs. His first-inning triple and second-inning homer helped the Mountaineers establish an early lead. His two-run shot in the fifth helped the Mountaineers reestablish the lead when the Saints rallied.

“Credit to coach Smith on the coaching staff for really getting with me and getting my swing right before the game,” St. Laurent said.

Boyd batted 2-4 with a homer, three runs, four RBIs and two walks. His two-run RBI single in the fifth helped the Mountaineers break a 6-6 tie when the Saints rallied after falling behind early.

The pitching was somewhat shaky in this outing, with redshirt junior pitcher Bradley Wilson allowing six earned runs in 3.2 innings before junior pitcher Cody Little came in and allowed one run in 3.2 innings. 

Little was relieved by senior pitcher Ryan Sleeper, who played 0.2 innings while allowing no runs. Finally, senior pitcher Cy Smith closed and pitched one inning while giving up no runs.

On Saturday, the Mountaineers had a solid performance on both sides of the ball, winning 9-4.

Junior infielder Adam Quintero hit the lone homer of the day for the Mountaineers, a solo shot in the sixth that extended their lead to 5-2.

“I was trying to think small today,” Quintero said. “They had some soft guys throwing, I wanted to take one backside and that’s exactly what I did.”

The Mountaineers also had luck on their side, scoring four runs on errors by the Saints.

The pitching staff put together a solid outing, allowing the Saints to score four runs on the day. Sophomore pitcher Jackson Steensma started the game, allowing one run in five innings, before being relieved by senior pitcher Grey LaSpaluto.

LaSpaluto allowed one run in one inning before being relieved by sophomore pitcher Everette Harris. Harris played two innings while allowing two runs, being relieved by redshirt sophomore Zach Lewis. Lewis finished out the game with one inning of scoreless ball, his fourth straight runless appearance to start the year.

On Sunday, the game started close with the Mountaineers eventually pulling away for a 10-6 victory.

The Mountaineers had four solo shots over the course of the game, first by Boyd in the first inning. Then back-to-back-to-back home runs in the fifth by senior outfielder Banks Tolley, junior catcher Braxton Church and graduate student first baseman Drew Holderbach.

“It was exciting, a lot of credit to Braxton and Banks there,” Holderbach said. “I got a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”

Holderbach and Church stood out, with both batting 2-3 with a homer, two RBIs and two walks.

The pitching staff had another mediocre performance, with senior Dante Chirico playing five innings while allowing two earned runs and striking out nine.

He was relieved by junior pitcher Collin Welch, who allowed two runs in two innings before being relieved by redshirt sophomore Jordan Fisher.

Fisher allowed one run in one inning before being relieved by redshirt freshman Max Tramontana, who closed out the final inning without allowing a run.

Sunday’s win meant the Mountaineers had completed a series sweep over the Saints and won five in a row.

The Mountaineers will return to action Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Johnson City, Tennessee to face the ETSU Buccaneers.

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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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