Spartans thump Appalachian State 20-10 in SoCon baseball action
BOONE, NC – UNC Greensboro starting pitcher Nick Starnes struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed just five hits in six innings on the hill en route to his third win of the season as the Spartans defeated Appalachian State 20-10 Friday afternoon at Lackey Field.
Starter Jason Rook (2-4) took the loss for the Mountaineers after allowing seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in three innings of work.
With the win, the Spartans have now won the last six meetings with the Mountaineers and improved to 10-4 all-time in games played in Boone. It was also the first time the Spartans had scored 20 or more runs since the 2003 season when UNCG defeated North Carolina A&T 26-1.
Appalachian State (11-17-1, 1-9 SoCon) scored a run in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead as third baseman Nick DeRose led off the game with his first career homerun. Starnes recovered nicely, however, as the junior struck out the side to end the inning. The Haw River, NC native would go on to strike out the side in the second inning and the first in the third for his seventh in a row.
The Spartans (13-18, 3-4 SoCon) took the lead back in the top of the second as UNCG scored two runs on a pair of hits and a Mountaineer error in the infield. Wes McCall led off the frame with walk and advanced to second on a sharp single to leftfield off the bat of Brandon Harvey. David Adams followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt, but ASU pitcher Jason Rook attempted to throw out McCall at third and threw the ball into rightfield, allowing McCall to score. Two batters later, Adam Deleo connected for an RBI single to leftfield that scored Harvey.
Jermaine Mitchell put the Spartans out in front 3-1 in the top of the third when the junior crushed the first pitch he saw over the right-centerfield wall for his second homerun of the season. With runners on second and third, McCall smoked a single up the middle to score Greg Feltes and a fielding error on the centerfielder allowed Guy Welsh to score on the play as well to give UNCG a 5-1 advantage.
Mitchell played long ball again in his next at-bat as the Daingerfield, TX native crushed his second homerun of the game to straight away centerfield to give UNCG a commanding 7-1 lead. Designated hitter Clinton McKinney led off the inning with a single up the middle and scored on the roundtripper. Not to be outdone, Harvey hammered a three-run homerun over the leftfield wall for his second of the season to make the score 10-1.
Welsh collected his team-leading 21st RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth to score Deleo who singled to open the frame, leaving the score 11-1 in favor of the Spartans.
After the Mountaineers plated a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans answered with a four spot in the top of the sixth highlighted by a towering homerun to leftfield by McKinney for his first career four-bagger in a Spartan uniform. Sean Snell, Deleo and McCall also tallied RBIs in the inning.
McKinney collected his game-high fourth hit and fourth RBI in the top of the seventh when the freshman laced a two-run double to right-centerfield to give UNCG a 19-2 lead. Two batters later, Feltes doubled to right to score McKinney for his first RBI of the afternoon.
ASU struck for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth highlighted by a pinch-hit grand slam from Nick Riddle for his first homerun of the season, leaving the score 20-10.
All nine positions starters for the Spartans collected at least one hit while eight of them tallied two or more as UNCG out-hit Appalachian State 20-12. McKinney led the way with a 4-for-6 afternoon with four RBI.
UNCG and Appalachian State continue a three-game series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Lackey Field.
UNC Greensboro 20, Appalachian State 10 (Apr 07, 2006 at Boone,
UNC Greensboro...... 023 516 300 - 20 20 2 (13-18, 3-4 SoCon)
Appalachian State... 100 010 080 - 10 12 5 (11-17-1, 1-9 SoCon)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Nick Starnes; Jonathan Nichols(7); Greg Martin(8);
Clinton McKinney(8). Appalachian State - Rook; Quate(4); Clark(6); Reavis(6); Halubka(7); Antley(8).
Win-Nick Starnes(3-1) Loss-Rook(2-4) T-3:18 A-178
HR UNCG - Jermaine Mitchell 2 (3); Brandon Harvey (2); Clinton McKinney (1).
HR ASU - DeRose (1); Riddle (1).
Rook faced 2 batters in the 4th.
Reavis faced 2 batters in the 7th.
- UNCG -