Leach powers ASU past High Point
by Staff Reports
Alex Leach continued to deliver clutch hits for Appalachian State Wednesday.
Leach had an RBI triple in the seventh inning and a two-run double in the eighth to lead Appalachian State baseball’s comeback from a 4-0 deficit in Wednesday’s 6-4 victory over High Point at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
Appalachian State (5-1) trailed 4-0 after just two-and-a-half innings. The Mountaineers trailed 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, but rallied for three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to claim its fourth-straight come-from-behind victory.
Leach, who had two doubles and a home run in a 8-5 win over Butler Sunday, got the rally started in the seventh when he lined a triple into the gap in left-center field. That hit drove in William Head from first to cut the Mountaineers’ deficit to 4-2.
One batter later, Leach made it 4-3 when he scored on Will Callaway’s sacrifice fly to left.
After Noah Holmes drew a two-out full-count walk, Josh Zumbrook capped the three-run seventh-inning rally by roping another full-count pitch down the left-field line to bring Holmes home all the way from first base with the tying run 4-4.
Leach struck again in the eighth with a two-out, two-run bloop double into shallow left field that gave the Mountaineers a 6-4 advantage.
ASU closer Rob Marcello easily made the lead stand up in the ninth, retiring the side in order for his third save in as many opportunities.
In addition to the run-scoring triple in the seventh and the go-ahead double in the eighth, Leach also drove in Appalachian State’s first run with a fielder’s choice grounder in the third. With the 2-for-4, four-RBI afternoon, Leach is now 10-for-20 (.500) with eight extra-base hits (five doubles, a triple and two home runs), 12 RBI and eight runs scored over the past five games.
Appalachian State’s bullpen kept High Point’s offense in check. Relievers Josh Wilson, Taylor Thurber and Marcello combined to limit High Point (5-3) to just two hits over five scoreless innings to close out the ballgame.
Wilson was especially impressive with four shutout innings in his first outing of the year. Thurber (1-0) worked a perfect eighth inning for the first win of his career.
Spencer Angelis went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI to pace the Panthers. Making his first appearance of the year, High Point’s Jaime Shultz (0-1) allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings of work to suffer the loss.
Appalachian State begins the defense of its 2012 Southern Conference championship on Friday when it opens a three-game SoCon series at Davidson (4-2). The conference opener is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Davidson’s Wilson Field.