Baseball now 5-1 after late rally vs. High Point

Southpaw Chad Farmer will make his first start on Wednesday afternoon against High Point. This will be Farmer’s third career start and his first since his freshman year in 2011. Coincidentally, Farmer’s first career loss came to High Point. Farmer has primarily been a long reliever throughout his career, mostly being used when the Mountaineers were trailing in games. Farmer only pitched 15.1 innings last season, all of them coming out of the bullpen.

High Point starter Ryan Retz was scheduled to start against the Mountaineers last season off the mountain, but that game was a complete washout that was never made up. Retz works mainly as the High Point first baseman, where he is one of the leading batters on the team. Retz has yet to pitch yet this season.

This game pits a battle of two different styles, as High Point has used small ball thus far this season to lead them to five wins, while Appalachian has become a team of bomb squaders, already with ten home runs on the season in only five games. Appalachian has six regulars currently batting over .300 while seven different Mountaineers have hit a home run this season, led by Alex Leach, Jaylin Davis and Preston Troutman with two home runs each.


Chad Farmer struggled from the start, giving up six hits and only striking out two batters through the first three innings before he was relieved by Josh Wilson out of the bullpen. Wilson came in a held the Mountaineers close until the bats warmed up in the eighth inning. Wilson only gave up two hits in four complete innings and is credited with his first win of the season. Once the Mountaineers tied the game in the seventh, Taylor Thurber came on and retired the side.

High point scored four runs in the first three innings, taking a 4-1 lead after the third inning and holding onto it until the home half of the seventh. High scored in the first and second innings on back to back lead off doubles to start both innings. Appalachian scored in the third inning on a slew of fielders choice plays by High Point.

Appalachian used a triple by Alex Leach, a double by Josh Zumbrook and a sacrifce fly by Will Callaway to draw even with High Point in the seventh inning. High Point used three pitchers in the inning. In the eighth, Jaylin Davis was hit in the head by a pitch and gave way for Thomas Kincaid to pinch run with one out. A single by Hector Crespo and a fly out by William Head put runners on the corners for Alex Leach. As he has done all year long, Leach came through in the clutch, delivering a two out double to left field that easily scored Head and the speedy Crespo to give Appalachian its first lead of the game

The ninth inning was left for Rob Marcello who retired the side in order on a pair of ground outs and a strikeout to end the game. Marcello picked up his third save in only the sixth game for Appalachian. Alex Leach drove in four Mountaineer runs, giving him twelve on the season. Leach is the first Mountaineer with ten hits this season. His ten hits break down to 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 singles and one triple. His slugging percentage is a ridiculous .958.

Conference season starts this weekend as the Mountaineers visit Davidson for a three game set.

High Point 86, Men’s Basketball 64


Appalachian Men’s basketball should get its first true test tonight against the High Point Panthers. The Mountaineers defeated the Panthers in their last meeting in 2011. High Point is flying high after a big win over cross town rival UNC-Greensboro, who was picked to finish first in the SoCon North. High Point led by as many as nineteen points before holding off a rally from the Spartans. High Point is making their first trip on the road this season.

It is highly unlikely a spread will come out for this game. High Point only had a line in three games last season, and two of those games were in their conference tournament, which oddsmakers love. We are hopeful we can get a line up for the Campbell game, but if not, East Carolina will certainly have a line. The RPI is a little funky this early in the season, because it is based solely on wins and losses, which neither team has many of. High Point bolted up to 41 with their win. Appalachian is currently ranked 256, with their win over Montreat not counting as it was outside of the Division I.

Post Game:

Appalachian could not overcome a High Point team that could not miss the basket on Tuesday night. The Panthers built a 22 point halftime lead and cruised in the second half to 86-64 win. High Point shot 57% for the game while the Mountaineers countered with 37.5% shooting. The Mountaineers assisted on only five made baskets on the night while turning the ball over 16 times.

Jay Canty and Chris Burgess were the lone bright spots for the Mountaineers. Burgess made six of his nine shots for sixteen points but did not record an assist while turning the ball over four times. Jay Canty scored 23 points and grabbed five rebounds. Nathan Healy had perhaps his worst game as a Mountaineer as he missed all five of his shots, did not score and committed three turnovers. Tab Hamilton never got into the flow of the game. Michael Obacha was a surprise starter in place of Brian Okam. Tevin Baskin recorded all four of the Mountaineer steals in only 17 minutes of play, and also chipped in with ten points.

There is not much you can do when another team comes into your gym and shoots like High Point did. However, the Mountaineers were never in this game from the start. There was no energy and no flow to the game. The Mountaineers looked like a group of individuals, compared to an actual team that was working together. I expect Jason Capel to juggle the starting lineup until he finds something he likes, but by then it may be too late. Fans are already calling for his job and if he wants to keep it, this team must show some signs of playing together.

Appalachian State Baseball (29-9, 13-5 SoCon) vs. High Point (23-21, 8-7 Big South)

High Point broke a four game losing streak on Friday evening with a win over Coastal Carolina, but fell twice in a doubleheader on Saturday to the Chanticleers. This will be the first time High Point and Appalachian play this season, as their previously scheduled game was rained out on March 20th. Since the rain out, High Point has defeated East Carolina and UNC-Charlotte in midweek games, and have lost to North Carolina and Wake Forest. Jared Avidon has pitched the majority of the midweek innings for the Panthers. Opponents are batting .386 against Avidon this season in 37.1 innings. Avidon picked up the win against ECU, and started against UNCC but did not factor into the decision. The Panthers scored 7.6 runs per game last weekend against Coastal Carolina, but had only averaged 4.1 runs per game in their previous ten contests.

Appalachian has only played six games all season long during the week. A plethora of poor weather has left the Mountaineers only completing two such games since March 20th, when the first game was rained out against High point. Since then, Appalachian has had a game start, but erased from record against ETSU, and saw two games with Eastern Kentucky also washed out. Showers are also possible tomorrow evening. Appalachian comes off the weekend after dominating Furman for a three game sweep and returning to the top spot in the conference play. Going into last weekend, Appalachian was in a four-way tie for the conference lead. Tyler Tewell was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week. Tewell’s statistics from the weekend include: .500 batting average, .571 OBP, 1.000 slugging percentage, 6 RBI, 6 runs and three extra base hits.

Probable Starters:

ASU Fr. RHP Jamie Nunn (3-0, 1.61) vs HPU Jr. RHP Jared Avidon (1-3, 8.68)

An unlikely hero, Preston Troutman was dominate all night at the plate despite renegade snow showers and blustery winds. Troutman collected three hits and two RBI in the 6-2 Mountaineer win over High Point on Tuesday evening.  Troutman’s three hits included a triple, a bunt single and a routine single to left field. Daniel Kassouf and Tyler Tewell both added two hits and an RBI. For the evening, the Mountaineers only struck out once as a team.

The bottom of the Mountaineer lineup is starting to heat up in the last couple weeks. Trey Holmes added a hit to move his average to .240. Troutman’s effort combined with his performance against Furman last weekend has brought his average to .253. If these players can continue the upward climb, it will only help take the pressure off the top six hitters, all who are batting over . 300. 

The Appalachian defense limited High Point to seven hits to seven different Panther batters. As a pitching staff, the Mountaineers only allowed two walks while striking out five. Jamie Nunn (4-0, 1.59) kept his record perfect while lowering his ERA and matched his longest start of the season by pitching six innings. Chad Farmer, Tyler Moore, Will Helms and Nathan Hyatt completed the game from the bullpen.