App State finally plays at home
By Steve Behr
Finally, Appalachian State’s baseball team gets a chance to break in Red Lackey Field this year.
The Mountaineers, after 15 road games, hosts Wofford in a three-game series this weekend beginning on Saturday with a single game and concluding with a doubleheader on Sunday. Saturday’s game begins at 2 p.m., while the doubleheader starts at noon.
Appalachian State goes into the game 4-14 overall, 1-5 in the Southern Conference. The Mountaineers will start Jonathan Reeder, who picked up the team’s lone conference win at Furman, Saturday.
Reeder also no-hit Florida State for six innings in a series earlier this year. First-year coach Chris Pollard feels Reeder (1-3) has been solid all season mostly because of the variety of pitches he can throw.
Reeder has struck out 25 batters and walked just nine this season.
“What makes him effective is that he has four pitches he can throw for strikes,” Pollard said. “He pitched exceptionally well for us in picking up a win at Furman. He really threw great at Western even though he got a no-decision.”
Scott Clark will likely start one of the games of Sunday’s doubleheader. Pollard was not sure who would pitch the other game against the Terriers (9-11, 0-3). Taylor Craig or Brian Caudill are the likely candidates.
Pollard said he is happy with the development of outfielder Julian Brown, a transfer from Faulkner State Community College (Ala.) who leads the team in hitting. Brown, who leads off in the order, is hitting. 329 with five doubles and five RBI.
Shortstop Brad Peisel, who hits second in the order, is batting .296 with six doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.
Pollard also cautioned that Wofford has improved from last year’s team, which finished 17-30 overall, 8-22 in the SoCon. Terriers’ slugger David Long is hitting .397 with four home runs, six doubles and 14 RBI.
“They’re pitching well, which is different from the club they had last year,” Pollard said. “They’ve also got some guys who can swing the bat.”
Pollard is happy with the progress the Mountaineers have made this year despite the team’s record.
“I think we’re on target,” he said. “I don’t think you can be happy and I wouldn’t want our staff or our players to be happy at 4-14. I knew that in a lot of ways this season we would not be judged by wins or losses but by our development and I’m pleased with that side of it.”