After the NC State double header was minimized to a single game, and then to cancelling the final two games of the series, Appalachian returned to Boone for their home opener against Canisius. NC State coach Elliot Avant basically said it was too cold and windy to play baseball on Sunday. The temperature in Raleigh on Sunday was right at 34 degrees at 1pm. Last year, Appalachian played in snow against Rider and in flurries against High Point. Several times last year the wind was recorded over 20 mph when games started at Smith Stadium. We didnt realize agriculuture came to a halt when the weather turned uncomfortable in Raleigh.
Appalachian started their game against Canisius with a 45 degree temperature and 6 mph wind, at 3pm. By the time the game ended, three hours later, the temperature had fallen to 38 degrees and the wind was gusting to 15 mph. We call that another day in the High Country, but surely the Wolfpack would have needed some long johns.
Despite the cool weather, Appalachian’s bats were hot early on in the game. After hitting three home runs on Friday against NC State, Appalachian hit three home runs in the second inning on Monday afternoon. Preston Troutman led off the inning with his second home run of the season. Two batters later, Josh Zumbrook homered on a 1-0 count to left field. Three batters later, Dillon Dobson hit his first home run as a Mountaineers over the left field pitch on the first pitch of the at bat. The four run second inning was the highlight of the day, as Appalachian scored in five of their eight at bats, amassing 13 runs on 15 hits. Preston Troutman (.500) led all batters with three hits, while Josh Zumbrook (.250), Brandon Burris (.222), Alex Leach (.250), and Dillon Dobson (.250) collected two hits each. Hector Crespo (.111) was the only Mountaineers to record an at bat without a hit.
Jeffrey Springs started the game on a pitch count, and it took him 75 pitches to get through three innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits, striking out 4, but walking two and hitting two others with pitches. Springs did not last long enough for the decision, which went to Sam Agnew-Wieland, who went 4.1 innings in relief. Sam A.W. also walked two batters and hit two others, while giving up 6 hits, and 2 earned runs while striking out three. Ryne Frankoff finished the game without giving up a hit but walked 2 batters just like his predecessors. It was not a pretty day on the mound, and that is going to happen, but it was extremely nice to have the bats to back it up.
C-Notes: Jamie Nunn was named SoCon Pitcher of the week for picking up the win against NC State…. Appalachian hosts Butler in a Saturday doubleheader and third game on Sunday…Weather is not looking good for baseball this weekend.