Appalachian’s first opponent in the conference tournament is the Furman Paladins, the tournament’s host institution. Appalachian handled Furman easily this year, sweeping a three game set in Boone. In those games, Appalachian outscored Furman 34-7 and outhit the Paladins 46-24. The opening game of the series was a 14-2 win for Appalachian on a Friday evening, and will most likely feature the same pitchers. Ryan Arrowood had one of his best starts of the year, going 7 innings, striking out five batters and holding the Paladins to two runs. As a team, Appalachian only commited one error in the series, and that was in the 6-5 walk off win in game two of the series, which was also the first game that was a part of the Saturday doubleheader. Outside of the one run game, Appalachian scored fourteen runs twice in the series.
ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (9-0, 3.93 ERA) vs. FUR Sr. RHP Bobby Lyne (6-5, 4.99 ERA)
Ryan Arrowood became Appalachian’s all time winningest pitcher with a gutty performace over Furman in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament. Arrowood (10-0) found trouble in the sixth inning, giving up three runs, but was able to work through seven innings and earn his tenth win of the season, and 27th of his career. Arrowood allowed four earned runs on eight hits and struck out five batters.
The Mountaineers found themselves in a 1-0 hole before picking up a bat. With one out in the bottom of the first, Tyler Zupcic drew a four pitch walk, and advanced to third base after a single by Will Callaway. Daniel Kassouf followed with a sac fly to right field to knot the score at one after the first inning.
Appalachian would take a lead in the fourth inning when Furman starter Bobby Lyne fell victim to his defense. Kassouf reached on error and Tyler Tewell was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, Trey Holmes doubled to score Kassouf. Preston Troutman walked which lef to a fielder’s choice RBI groundout by Noah Holmes. Hector Crespo walked which gave way to Zupcic, who singled in the final two runs of the inning. All in all, Appalachian scored four runs on two hits in the fourth inning.
Furman would make the game tight in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on three hits, but Appalachian would respond. Kassouf and Tyler Tewell both recorded sac flys to push Appalachian’s lead back to 7-4. An Appalachian error led to a Furman run in the seventh, but the Paladins could not get the offense going as Ryne Frankoff and Nathan Hyatt would finish the game on the mound for the Mountaineers. Hyatt collected his fifteenth save on the season, extending the school record.
Eight Mountaineers would record ten hits on the evening, with Will Callaway and Trey Holmes recording two hits each. Tyler Zupcic and Daniel Kassouf recorded two RBI each. Hector Crespo and Preston Troutman walked twice. Appalachian will face Samford who was a 7-0 winner over Western Carolina tomorrow at 8pm.