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CJ Boyd
CJ Boyd holds the career home run record with his 34th and 35th home runs despite the loss.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App Baseball Posts 20 in Huge Win Over Arkansas State

Led by a six-run third inning, the App State bats were hot from start to finish, tallying 16 hits, including three home runs, in a 20-7 victory over Arkansas State, in the series opener on Friday.

The 20 runs are the most that the Mountaineers have ever scored against a Sun Belt opponent since joining the conference in 2015, and most runs in a game overall since defeating Gardner-Webb 24-3 in 2019.

Trailing 2-1 in the third inning, the Mountaineers (21-14, 7-9) mounted an incredible two-out rally. Drew Holderbach singled up the middle to extend his on-base streak to 35 in a row. Banks Tolley followed with a two-run home run, his league-leading 15th blast of the season, to put App State in front 3-2, a lead it would not relinquish.

The Mountaineers continued to put the pressure on the Red Wolves in the inning via the bunt. CJ Boyd beat out a bunt single and Braxton Church followed with another two-run home run to increase the lead to 5-2.

After a single to center from Xavier Moronta followed by a single to center field from Adam Quintero, the Mountaineers plated a run on a double steal, on which the Red Wolves (17-21, 4-12) pitcher threw the ball into center field. The Mountaineers repeated the formula. Hunter Wilder reached on an error on another bunt attempt, and stole second to put two in scoring position. Joseph Zamora then laid down a bunt single, bringing home Quintero to make it 7-2.

After Arkansas State tightened things up at 9-7 with a four-run bottom of the fifth, the Mountaineers answered immediately with three more runs in the top of the sixth. Holderbach led off the inning with a double, and two batters later, Boyd drove him home with a double of his own. After a pitching change, Church singled to center field to bring home Boyd and make it 11-17. Later in the inning, Quintero capped the scoring with a sac fly to center field.

App State continued to pile on in the late innings. Zamora cracked a two-run homer in the eighth inning to push the advantage to 14-7.

The Black and Gold put up another six-run inning in the ninth, netting just two hits in the inning. The Mountaineers plated three of their runs in the frame on bases loaded walks, and another on a bases loaded hit by pitch. Zamora also added an RBI single.

Six Mountaineers finished with multi-hit ballgames, led by four-hit efforts from Boyd and Moronta, while Church, Moronta and Zamora each notched a four-RBI night. The offense registered the final 11 runs in the game.

On the mound Cody Little (save, 1) led the charge, tossing three scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame, striking out four, while allowing just three base runners.

Bradley Wilson started and struck out three, but came up an out shy of qualifying for the win. Grey LaSpaluto picked up the victory in relief to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season.

The Mountaineers go for their first series road win of Sun Belt play Saturday, with first pitch set for 5 p.m. ET in game two.

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}