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App State Baseball Throttles N.C. A&T, 14-0

True freshman Alex Leach (15) is greeted at home plate by teammate Derek Brown (35) after Leach hit his first-career home run in the sixth inning of Appalachian's 14-0 rout over North Carolina A&T. Photo by Dave Mayo and courtesy of Appalachian Sports Information

March 28, 2012. BOONE — Appalachian State University baseball scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back en route to a 14-0 romp over visiting North Carolina A&T on Tuesday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Appalachian (19-5) followed up the eight-run first by scoring in four of the next five innings and cruised to its 11th-straight win over longtime in-state rival N.C. A&T (7-16). 

The Mountaineers sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning and banged out six hits. ASU also benefitted from two walks, two wild pitches and an error on its way to its biggest first-inning scoring output in four years. Designated hitter Daniel Kassouf (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) and first baseman Trey Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) delivered the biggest hits of the eight-run frame with an RBI double and RBI triple, respectively.

Appalachian added single runs in the third and fourth innings, three in the fifth and another single tally in the sixth to close out the scoring. Twenty-one ASU players saw action in the rout and 10 of the Mountaineers’ 16 batters notched at least one hit. True freshman Brandon Burris (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) led the way in his fifth-career start, going 3-for-3 with a double. Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian), Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) and Jeremy Dowdy (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) chipped in with two hits apiece and Callaway collected three of the Apps’ nine RBI.

Not to be overshadowed by the 14-run explosive was the shutout performance turned in by ASU’s pitching staff. Five Mountaineer pitchers combined on the five-hit shutout, Appalachian’s second in three games and third of the season. 

True freshman Jamie Nunn (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) continued to impress in his third-career start. The right-hander allowed just three hits in five shutout innings and struck out three along the way to move to 2-0 in his young career. Following Nunn, right-handed relievers Josh Wilson (Edgefield, S.C./Strom Thurmond), Jordan Jessup (Westfield, N.C./East Surry), David Port (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) and Nathan Hyatt (Brevard, N.C./Brevard) turned in a scoreless inning apiece to complete the whitewashing.

Southpaw Ruben Torrellas, who limited the Mountaineers to three runs over six innings in ASU’s come-from-behind victory at A&T on Feb. 28, was torched for nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits over three innings to suffer the loss on Tuesday and fall to 0-3 on the season. First baseman Kelvin Freeman had two of the Aggies’ five hits.

With the victory, Appalachian moved to 12-0 at Smith Stadium this season. The 12-consecutive home wins are tied for the fifth-longest active home winning streak in NCAA Division I and good for ASU’s longest home winning streak since it won 19-straight games at Smith Stadium from March 22, 2009-March 20, 2010. 

The Mountaineers look to add to the home winning streak this weekend when they host a three-game non-conference series versus Oakland. The set begins with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.