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Apps Baseball Drop Series Finale to Charleston, First Loss at Home in 18 Games: Now 24-6 Overall

From Appalachian Sports Information

Photo by Dave Mayo and courtesy of Appalachian Sports Information

April 9, 2012. BOONE — After managing just 11 hits against Appalachian State University pitching over the first two games of this weekend’s series, College of Charleston exploded for thirteen on Sunday to salvage an 8-3 victory in the series finale on ASU’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

The setback snapped Appalachian’s six-game overall winning streak and was the Mountaineers’ first loss in 18 contests at home this season. However, No. 30 ASU (24-6, 9-3 SoCon) remains atop the Southern Conference standings ahead of second-place College of Charleston (22-11, 12-6 SoCon) and Elon (19-14, 12-6 SoCon).

Appalachian fell into a 5-0 hole after five-and-a-half innings on Sunday, battled back to cut the deficit to 6-3 in the seventh but couldn’t get any closer before Charleston pulled away with back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the ninth.

CofC starter Christian Powell kept the Mountaineers off-balance for much of the afternoon. The right-hander, who normally mans one of the top two spots in the Cougars’ weekend rotation but was moved to Sunday this weekend despite leading the club with a 1.51 ERA, limited the Apps to three runs and struck out five over six innings of work. With the victory, Powell moved to 6-1 on the season to match ASU’s Seth Grant (Etowah, N.C./West Henderson) and Samford’s Josh Martin for the best record in the SoCon.

Appalachian sent seven pitchers to the mound on Sunday. Starter Rob Marcello (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach) surrendered five runs in 5.1 innings to suffer the loss and fall to 4-2 on the campaign.

Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) and Jeremy Dowdy (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) had two hits apiece for the Mountaineers while Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) extended his hitting streak to 21 games with an RBI double in the sixth inning. Callaway’s 21-game hitting streak is ASU’s longest of the season and just six games shy of the school record of 27 set by Rand Smith in 2009. Callaway also reached base for the 25th-straight game but Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) had his string of consecutive games in which he reached safely snapped at 24.

Brandon Murray and Gunner Heidt both went 3-for-5 with a home run to pace the Cougars.

ASU returns to action on Tuesday when it begins a four-game road trip with a non-conference duel at Gardner-Webb. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at GWU’s John Henry Moss Stadium.