Samford advanced in the winners bracket with a 7-0 shutout of Western Carolina, in a game that started two hours late and ended at approximately 12:30 AM on Thursday morning. Chances are high that the scheduled 8 PM start of tonight’s game will also be pushed back. Samford will most likely start Charles Basford, who did not factor into the decision in a 7-4 Appalachian win two weeks ago in Birmingham. Last year, Basford struck out a career high ten batters and pitched 8.1 innings in a win at Appalachian.
Appalachian won two of three games at Samford this year in a series that was a very back and forth affair. Appalachian won game one with four runs in the ninth inning. The second game featured Samford scoring four runs in the eighth inning to win 4-2. Appalachian won the rubber match 9-7 in a game that featured three lead changes. Last year against Samford, Seth Grant took a loss, despite holding Samford to one earned run and five hits in six innings. Grant has not recorded a decision in five straight starts and his last win came in the home series against Charleston.
ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (6-3, 2.70) vs SU Sr. RHP Charles Basford (8-2, 4.04)
If Appalachian had any answers to Samford’s pitching on Thursday evening, the Samford offense seemed to come up with more answers than the Mountaineers could muster. Samford pounded the Appalachian pitching staff for 16 hits and 12 runs, the second highest run total the Mountaineers had allowed all season, in a 12-7 win. Seth Grant was tagged with an ugly loss, giving up eight earned runs in only 4.2 innings, on only 77 pitches. Both numbers were season lows for Grant. It was easily his worst performance of the season.
The seven runs the Mountaineers produced came from Trey Holmes, who hit his sixth home run of the season on a two run shot in the fourth inning. Mostly, Appalachian took advantage of four Samford errors which led to five of the Mountaineers runs. Hector Crespo, Tyler Zupcic and Daniel Kassouf had two hits each. Tyler Tewell hit his 16th double of the season. Appalachian will now face Furman for the fifth time this season, and second time in this tournament in a losers bracket game.