GREENSBORO – The Appalachian State baseball team dropped a 15-inning heartbreaker in its second straight Sunday matchup, falling 8-7 to UNCG in the series finale on March 1.
App State’s pitching staff tied a single-game school record with 19 strikeouts with six pitchers recording them on the mound.
App State also fell to Kentucky 8-7 in 15 innings on Feb. 23.
App State took a 7-6 lead against UNCG lead in the top of the 11th with a two-out RBI double from McGowan, scoring sophomore Andrew Terrell from second. Terrell drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to reach base and had entered the game in the seventh inning for junior Tyler Leek.
The Spartans (7-3) retied the game at 7-7 with a home run from former Ashe County standout Hogan “Turtle” Windish in the bottom of the 11th.
Wndish, who played second base and hit third in the UNCG lineup, went 2-for-6 for the Spartans. Windish, a red-shirt sophomore, has started all 10 games for UNCG this season. He is hitting .216 with three doubles and two home runs.
UNCG’s Spencer Smith walked off the series finale with a walk-off single to left field, bringing home Caleb Webster from second base.
“Another Sunday, another long day on the field,” App State head coach Kermit Smith said in a statement. I’m proud of our guys for competing for 15 innings. Being in these type of pressure situations this early in the season will pay huge dividends later in the year.”
After UNCG stretched its lead to 6-2 in the seventh, the Mountaineers scored a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings to send the game to extra innings. Junior Kendall McGowan jumpstarted the rally with a two-out double down the left-field line in the eighth. Sophomore Phillip Cole then doubled to right center on a 1-1 pitch to cut UNCG’s advantage to 6-3.
Sophomore Hayden Cross tacked on another run for App State with two outs on an RBI single to left field.
The Mountaineers (4-6) tied the game with two runs in the ninth. Redshirt senior Luke Allison reached base after being hit by a pitch. Junior Andrew Greckel then smacked a double to right center, scoring Allison all the way from first base to cut the lead to 6-5. Greckel advanced to third base on a fielding error in center field before senior Robbie Young shot a ball through left side to score Greckel from third, knotting the game at 6-6.
Junior left-hander Quinton Martinez allowed just one hit through his first three frames, facing the minimum twice in five innings on the mound. Four App State pitchers – Martinez, senior Jack Hartman, freshman Noah Hall and Cole – each recorded at least three punch outs in today’s contest. App State’s 19 strikeouts ties a single-game record last reached in a 3-1 win over Davidson in 12 innings back on April 21, 2011.
App State returns to the diamond at 4 p.m. on March 4 at Western Carolina.