LEXINGTON, Ky. – App State dropped a 15-inning heartbreaker to Kentucky 8-7 on Feb. 23 with two outs in the bottom of the 15th inning. Kentucky's Oraj Anu picked up the game-winning RBI on a bases-loaded walk, scoring Matt Golda from third base.
The Mountaineers tied Sunday's marathon matchup in the top of the ninth with two outs, sending the game to extra innings. Senior Robbie Young smacked a double to left center on the first pitch he saw to tie the game at 7-7. Sophomore Luke Drumheller, who finished with a 3-for-7 day at the plate, scored the tying run in the ninth.
App State relievers delivered five innings of scoreless relief until the 15th, working out of two-straight bases-loaded jams in the 12th and 13th innings. Drumheller recorded the third put out in the 12th, 13th and 14th innings, making diving stops to keep the Mountaineers alive in the 13th and 14th.
Overall, App State used seven arms out of its bullpen, securing scoreless outings from senior Jack Hartman (2.1 innings pitched), freshman Cy Smith (2.0 innings pitched) and sophomore Austin Primm (2.0 innings pitched). The Mountaineers combined for 11 total strikeouts with starter Quinton Martinez pacing App State with four punch outs.
"Extremely proud of our guys tonight, playing with that effort, intensity and focus for six hours after yesterday says a lot," App State head coach Kermit Smith said in a statement. "I can't wait to get back to Boone for practice and continue the evolution of becoming what we are capable of. There are no moral victories, but this is something to build off of."
App State (1-5) jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Sunday with four base hits in the third inning. Junior Bailey Welch tallied the first RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring senior Luke Allison from third. Young then dropped in a single to left field to plate freshman Peyton Idol, who started in the leadoff spot for the first time in his young App State career. The Mountaineers scored their final run of the third inning with a single from sophomore Phillip Cole.
Idol notched his own sacrifice fly to center field in the fourth, stretching App State's lead to 4-0. Drumheller continued his impressive day at the dish to plate Welch to push the advantage to 5-0.
The Wildcats (4-3) responded with six-straight runs, taking a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning after a solo homer from Golda. Kentucky's lead only lasted until the top half of the eighth when junior Jack Lipson dropped in a single to left field, scoring junior Tyler Leek from second to even the game at 6-6.
Five Mountaineers – Drumheller, Young, Cole, Leek and Lipson – recorded multi-hit games on Sunday. Four of App State's 13 base hits went for extra bases.
Sunday's game ran just shy of six hours, marking App State's longest game since at least 2006. The Mountaineers notched a 7-6 victory over Niagara in a 13-inning affair on Feb. 25, 2006.
App State will return to action Feb. 26 against in-state foe Wake Forest. First pitch in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is set for 4 p.m.