ASU takes two of three from Butler
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State left fielder Brandon Burris went into the Mountaineers’ game against Butler hitting .167.
After going 3-for-4 from the plate in the Mountaineers’ 8-5 win at Smith Stadium Sunday, that average jumped 209 points. Burris left that game batting .313 after hitting two doubles and a two-run home run in ASU’s four-run seventh inning that gave the Mountaineers an 8-5 lead.
“I started off slow, but I finally got some pitches I could hit today,” Burris said. “I was looking fastball today and I got to see some.”
Burris led an Appalachian State attack that banged out 10 hits. Seven of them were extra base hits, including two doubles and a solo home run in the third inning by Alex Leach.
Leach ripped an RBI double and scored a run in the first inning, and drove in a run with a double in the seventh.
ASU catcher Josh Zumbrook added a double and scored on Burris’ home run. Zumbrook added a two-out double in the eighth inning.
“This game is tricky,” Mountaineers coach Billy Jones said. “The timely hits are what’s important. You can have a bunch of hits, but I think we had 12 or 15 yesterday and we didn’t win. It’s one of those things where we were able to overcome that big inning and we kept chipping away.”
The pair helped the Mountaineers (4-1) win two out of three from Butler (2-4). Appalachian State fell behind 5-3 when the Bulldogs scored five runs in the fourth inning, but the Mountaineers’ first countered with an RBI by William Head in the fifth inning, and four runs in the seventh.
Butler rapped out eight hits, seven of them off starter Sam Agnew-Wieland. The right-hander, who gave up the five runs to the Bulldogs, struck out seven and walked just one.
Mike Ksniak drove in two runs with a double and both Lucas Calderon and Jack Dillon rapped out RBI singles for the Bulldogs. Rya Wojciechowski added a sacrifice fly.
Agnew-Wieland regrouped and allowed just one hit after the fifth.
Tyler Moore did not give up a run the eighth inning, and closer Rob Marcello set the Bulldogs down in the ninth to ice the game.
Calderon and Jimmy Risi each had two hits for the Bulldogs.
“We want to have a strong bullpen,” Jones said. “We expect our starters to go out there and be able to give us six or seven innings. I thought Sam, after he gave up the big inning, he actually got stronger. He did not want to come out of the game and I’m going to trust our guys. I’m going to look in their eyes and if they want the ball and their pitch count isn’t way up there, we’ll let them continue.”
Appalachian State 8, Butler 5
Butler 000 500 000 — 5 8 2
Appalachian State 201 010 40X — 8 10 0
Lenkman, Allen (7), Byerly (8) and Haddad. Agnew-Wieland, Moore (8) and Marcello (9) and Zumbrook. W—Agnew-Wieland (9-2), L—Lenkman (0-1). LOB—Butler 6, ASU 4. 2B—Butler, Risi, Kseniak; ASU, Leach 2, Davis, Zumbrook 2, Burris 2. HR—ASU, Leach (2), Burris (1). SF—Butler, Wojciechowski; ASU, Callaway. SB—Butler, Small, Dillon; ASU, Head, Burris. HBP—Butler, Akin (by Agnew-Wieland, Small (by Marcello). Time—2:05. Att.—496.