Moore pitches App State past Michigan
by Staff Reports
CARY - Watauga County has not been good to the Michigan athletic department, especially when it's Appalachian State is involved.
Former standout Watauga pitcher Tyler Moore nearly pitched a complete game for Appalachian State in its 4-1 victory over Michigan in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic.
Although the victory may not be on the same scale as Appalachian State's 34-32 victory in football back in 2007, the Mountaineers' baseball team needed this win. The victory snaps a season-beginning nine-game losing streak, although eight of those games were against Top 25 teams.
The win was Appalachian State's first-ever over a Big Ten opponent. Appalachian is now 1-2 all-time against Big Ten programs. Ohio State swept a two-game series from the Mountaineers in 1995.
Moore is the only SoCon starter this season to pitch into the ninth inning this season. He set career highs with eight innings pitched and six strikeouts.
His six strikeouts doubled his previous career high of three, which he accomplished three times, including two weeks ago at No. 25 Arkansas.
The eight innings topped his previous career high of seven innings, when he came out of the bullpen to throw in a 15-4 win over No. 29 Western Carolina at 2013 Southern Conference Tournament.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, appeared to be on his way to the Southern Conference's first complete-game shutout of the season after taking the mound with a 4-0 lead. After Michigan's Harrison Wenson led off the ninth with a single to center field, Kendall Patrick followed with another single to center.
However, Patrick's single skipped past Appalachian true freshman center fielder Brian Bauk, who was filling in for usual starter Jaylin Davis. That allowed Wenson to come all the way home from first to break up the shutout.
With the shutout chance scuttled, App State head coach Billy Jones lifted Moore from the game in favor of closer Robert Whaley. Whaley easily retired the three batters he faced on two pop outs and a strikeout to seal the win and seal his first save as a Mountaineer.
Appalachian state scored two runs in the first inning when William Head doubled in two runs that gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead. Alex Leach followed with a fielder's choice that drove in Michael Pierson, which put App State in front 3-0.
Leach's first RBI of the 2014 season came exactly one year after he recorded his last RBI in a 4-1 win over Davidson on March 1, 2013. Leach missed the final 41 games of last season because of a severe head injury.
App State got an insurance run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single to right center by Preston Troutman. That brought Ozzie Gonzalez home with the Mountaineers' fourth and final run.
Head led the Mountaineers with two RBI and Zupcic accounted for two of Appalachian's seven hits.
Left-hander Logan McAnallen suffered the loss for Michigan (2-7-1), despite allowing just one earned run over six innings of work and striking out eight. Wenson went 2-for-3 with a run scored to pace the Wolverines offensively.
The Mountaineers play their final game of the USA Baseball-Irish Classic on Sunday against host team, Notre Dame. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary.
NOTES: The win was Appalachian's ninth over a program from a "power conference" (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) since the beginning of 2012. App State's last beat a power-conference team on March 13 of last season, an 8-5 win at Georgia.