RADFORD, Va. – Led behind a career-high seven strikeouts by senior Matt Schaeffer (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll Catholic (Tallahassee C.C.)) and three multi-hit efforts at the plate, Appalachian State University baseball ended its road trip with a 7-5 victory over Radford on Tuesday night.
The Mountaineers (14-23) once again used slugging to get their runs, while pitching took care of the Highlanders’ (16-20) at-bats.
Right-handed Schaeffer provided relief in the second inning and went 5.0 innings on the night – his longest appearance of the season. Getting his second decision win of the season, he allowed just two hits and one unearned run while fanning seven, which obliterated his previous career high of three punchouts that he threw most recently against NC Central in his first career start in Charlotte, N.C. at BB&T Ballpark on March 14.
On the other side of things, the Black and Gold continued their hot hitting of late, increasing their number of home runs in the past three games to eight total. Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) went 2-for-5 and had his third jack in the last three games to keep his bat hot, while Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) had his second homer in the same timespan while going 2-for-4 on the day as well.
Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech)) also got in on the derby, launching a two-RBI shot to left field in the fourth inning.
Appalachian got on the board first in the second when Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) shot one of his two hits on the evening to center field for a double, which led to him being brought across the plate by Jackson on a single through the middle.
The Highlanders started the seesaw by retaking the lead in the second, but the Diamond Apps would tie things up in the third as Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) singled to left field before a Stroup walk and a Leonard bullet through the gap brought home Zupcic.
The lead would be momentarily short-lived as Radford took the lead in the bottom of the third before the Mountaineer offensive engine revved up. In the fourth, Jackson started things off with a leadoff bomb to left field. Then, after a Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) walk, Vernon followed it up with his home run of the game to go up two.
App State then capitalized on a Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) walk in the top of the fifth when Leonard went yard to go extend the lead.
After starting pitcher Bobby Hampton (Pikeville, N.C./C.B. Aycock) and Schaeffer, Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, N.C./Moline) and Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) came in to finish the final 2.2 innings, allowing no earned runs and striking out four.
Story Credit: APP State