Baseball 13 Canisius 6

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.

Baseball 6, #8 NC State 3

Coming into the game, it was already going to be a tall task for Appalachian to match the memorable season from a year ago. Add to it, Appalachian had to face off against a nationally ranked, in-state opponent who was giving the ball to the best pitcher in the nation. North Carolina State advanced to the NCAA Super regional a year ago and Carlos Rodon went 9-0 with a 1.57 ERA in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference. Rodon had not lost a game he pitched since his junior year in high school until Friday against Appalachian.

The Mountaineers earned five of their six runs via the long ball, as freshman center fielder Jaylin Davis smacked a three run homer on the first pitch he saw in his college career. Davis finished with two hits in his college debut. If that wasn’t enough, defensive specialist third baseman Noah Holmes hit a solo shot in the second inning. Preston Troutman added another solo shot in the fourth inning. Holmes and Troutman batted in the bottom third of the lineup for basically all of 2012.

Jamie Nunn pitched well enough, perhaps his best start of his career since defeating Duke last season for his first win. Nunn (1-0, 1.50) allowed only three hits to a career high twenty-four batters faced, adding five strikeouts to only two walks. Taylor Thurber relieved Nunn in the seventh going 1.2 innings, holding the lead while only giving up one run on one hit. Tyler Moore got the Mountaineers out of a huge jam in the 8th inning with a big strikeout. Rob Marcello pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.

This win will give the Mountaineers some much needed confidence for the rest of the weekend, only needing to win one more game this weekend to take the series. Jeffrey Springs, who we believe is the most complete Mountaineer pitcher will get the ball on Saturday, a game that was was moved up three hours to avoid potential winter weather. The Mountaineers should feel right at home if the weather turns cooler, especially after such an uplifting win on opening day.

Appalachian State Women’s Basketball: NC State Postgame (WNIT)

Appalachian State won its second ever WNIT game and first ever game over North Carolina State with a 66-62 win in the second round of the WNIT. North Carolina State jumped out to a seven point lead on the strength of Kody Burke, who had 17 of the Wolfpack’s first 23 points. However the story of the game was what Appalachian was able to do to NC State in the second half. The defensive pressure increased and NC State was careless with the basketball, and the Mountianeers started winning more of those “50-50” balls. The Mountaineers shot 58% from the field in the second half. NC State, who scored eight points from the free throw line in the first half was limited to only six attempts from the charity stripe in the second half, making only three of them.

Despite trailing by six at halftime, the way the Mountaineers forced their game in the second half was very telling. It was obvious the Mountianeers were going to win the game after the first media timeout in the second half. Even though the Mountaineers still trailed by four points, you could tell that NC State was being outhustled by the Mountaineers.  It wasn’t anything you could see in a box score, but the energy the Mountaineers brought to the court was definitely higher in the second half.

Anna Freeman had another one of her outstanding performaces, scoring 26 points, most of them coming in the second half. Anna also added seven rebounds and six steals. Katie Mallow scored 14 points in her second career start in as many games. Maryah Sydnor added 9 points and 6 rebounds.

Next up for the Mountaineers is the winner of Richmond and Virginia, who play on Monday Night. That game will most likely be played on the road, sometime between Wednesday and Friday.

WNIT Second Round: Appalachian State Women’s Basketball @ North Carolina State

Appalachian and NC State have a couple of common opponents. The most recognizable common foe is most likely Appalachian’s last opponent, UNC-Wilmington. NC State defeated the Seahawks by nineteen points at home back in November, while the Mountaineers just defeated UNCW by six on the road. Appalachian and NC State also faced Virginia, who the Mountaineers lost to by 32 points in their first game of the season while NC State fell by 8 points at home to the Cavaliers. North Carolina State also defeated Longwood by 29 points at home while the Mountaineers defeated the Lancers by 10 points. Although NC State has a lower RPI than Appalachian at 88, they play in a much tougher conference with opponents such as Maryland, Duke, Georgia Tech and Miami (FL).