Spartans drop wild rubber game to Mountaineers in 10 innings
GREENSBORO, NC – Chris Allesandria appeared to hit a game-winning grand slam in the top of the ninth for Appalachian State, but UNC Greensboro fought back to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth before falling in the 10th inning, 9-8, in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Zach Quate picked up his second win for the Mountaineers (30-18, 15-13 SoCon) despite giving up a season-high three earned runs. Quate came into the game with an 0.54 ERA for the year after allowing just two earned runs in over 33 innings.
Rob Gilliam was credited with the loss for the Spartans (17-28, 5-20 SoCon) after allowing seven runs in four innings of relief.
With the Spartans cruising with a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth inning, Appalachian State was able to narrow the UNCG lead to 5-4. After a lead off strikeout, Nick DeRose walked before Ryan Arrowood took a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall to pull the Mountaineers within one.
Rand Smith led off the ninth inning for the Mountaineers with a single to center field to spark the rally. Wes Hobson then reached on a fielder's choice when Smith was thrown out at second. Isaac Harrow then drew a four-pitch walk before David Towarnicky was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Allesandria then came up and took a 1-2 pitch out to right field to put the Mountaineers ahead, 8-5, on his grand slam.
The Spartans refused to go down quietly as they responded with three runs in the bottom half of the ninth to knot the game at eight. Corey Overholtzer and Pedro Leon drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning before Ray Quinones hit a double off the wall in right field to score Overholtzer. Leon scored on the next play when Trevor Edwards hit a ground out to the shortstop up the middle. After a line out, Kris Richards hit a two-out double to left center to score Quinones and tie the game.
In the 10th inning, Jerod Faggart drew a leadoff walk before moving to second when Smith popped out on a bunt, but the throw to first to double off Faggart was thrown down the right field line. Hobson followed with a single to right field to score Faggart from second easily to put ASU ahead 9-8.
UNCG got the scoring started in the third inning thanks to a triple by Drew Gehringer to right center with one out in the inning. Gehringer would score later in the inning on a fielder's choice by Leon to put the Spartans ahead, 1-0.
The Spartans extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Michael Wall led off the inning with a double to left center. He then scored after advancing to third on a wild pitch before the throw from the catcher was thrown into left field to allow Wall to easily score. With one down, Alex Frederick hit a double to left center and scored on Brent O'Berry's single to left field. O'Berry scored later in the inning with Leon hit into a bases loaded fielder's choice.
The Mountaineers responded with two runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the Spartan lead to 4-2. With two out in the inning, Smith hit a solo shot over the wall in left center for his third home run in as many days. Hobson followed with a double down the right field line and later scored on David Towarnicky's RBI single to left field.
UNCG would go on to add one more run in the sixth inning after Frederick hit a leadoff single to right field. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by O'Berry and later scored on a fielder's choice by Overholtzer.
The Spartans return to the diamond on Wednesday evening to face UNC Asheville for the final home game of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium for Senior Day.
Appalachian State 9, UNC Greensboro 8
Appalachian State..... 000 020 024 1 - 9 11 2 (30-18)
UNC Greensboro.......001 301 003 0 - 8 11 2 (17-28)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro – Warren Slack, Matt Parish, Rob Gilliam. Appalachian State – Matt Andress, Nick Daniels, Chris Patterson, Zach Quate.
Win- Zach Quate (2-1) Loss- Rob Gilliam (4-5) T-3:14 A-363
HR: Appalachian State: Rand Smith (10), Chris Allesandria (8), Ryan Arrowood (3)
- UNCG -