High Point clips App State's baseball team
by Staff Reports
Appalachian State is nine runs from having 20 victories this season.
High Point's Kyle Brandenburg drove in the winning run with an RBI double in the top of the ninth inning to beat Appalachian State 6-5 Tuesday night at Smith Stadium.
It was the Mountaineers' nine one-run loss this season. The Mountaineers dropped to 11-19, but could be 20-10 had those one-run losses had been victories.
Each of Appalachian State's last three losses have come by one run. The Mountaineers fell to 2-9 in one-run games this season
High Point's ninth began with Appalachian State reliever Taylor Thurber walking the Panthers' No. 9 hitter, Chris Clare. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored easily on Brandenburg's one-out double that sailed over the head of Appalachian center fielder Jaylin Davis.
The Mountaineers answered in the bottom of the ninth by putting the tying run on base with one out in the bottom of the frame when William Head drew a four-pitch walk. However, pinch-hitter Alex Leach struck out for the second out of the inning and Head was caught trying to steal his way into scoring position to end the game.
Appalachian State opened the scoring on Matt Brill's RBI single in the bottom of the second inning, but High Point scored four times in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. The Panthers hit only one ball out of the infield in a four-run fourth inning, but had three infield singles during the inning.
Highlighted by a two-run single by Tyler Stroup, Appalachian answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score at 4-4. An inning later, Brill drove in another run with his third hit of the evening to give the Mountaineers a 5-4 advantage.
High Point (19-13) tied it on a solo homer by Brandenburg in the seventh and won it on his RBI double to straightaway center field in the ninth.
However, Brandenburg wound up being the difference in the game. The High Point third baseman finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs, including a run-scoring infield single in the fourth, the game-tying homer in the seventh and the deciding RBI double in the ninth.
Brandenburg's heroics overshadowed another impressive performance by Brill, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and raised his batting average to .404 on the season.
The true freshman also extended his team-best hitting streak to 12 games. He is hitting an outstanding .477 (21-for-44) during the 12-game streak.
Dobson, the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week, and Michael Pierson added two hits apiece for the Mountaineers.
Appalachian State continues a four-game homestand this weekend when it hosts a three-game SoCon series versus The Citadel. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Smith Stadium.
NOTES: The loss snapped Appalachian's four-game winning streak versus High Point ... the Mountaineers are 12-3 in their last 15 meetings with HPU ... new Appalachian State men's basketball head coach Jim Fox threw out the ceremonial first pitch ... Fox, a former baseball player and avid fan, threw from the rubber and his delivery had plenty of steam but was high and out of the zone ... game-time temperature was a chilly 48 degrees and the wind-chill factor dipped into the 30s as the blustery evening progressed.