skip to Main Content
Banks Tolley
Banks Tolley went three-for-five batting with two runs scored and four RBI in a game against Marshall on Friday, March 29, 2024.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Baseball Blows Out Southern Illinois to Wrap Up Series

App State grabbed the lead before Dante Chirico even took the mound, and the right-hander didn’t allow a hit through his first five innings of work, as App State topped Southern Illinois 8-1 to win the weekend series.

Chirico (win, 2-0) hit a batter in the first and allowed a walk in the fourth, but did not allow a runner past second base until the sixth inning. After losing the no-hitter on back-to-back singles to begin the sixth, the Chapin, S.C. native was able to limit the damage to just an RBI groundout, finishing out the frame for a quality start. Chirico fanned four and allowed just four baserunners in the outing, in a career-high six innings of work.

App State (9-2) starting pitching was outstanding in the series. Chirico, Jackson Steensma and Bradley Wilson combined to work 17 innings, allowing just four earned runs (2.12 ERA) on seven hits, while striking out 14.

Banks Tolley opened the scoring for the Mountaineers with a home run to straight away center field three batters into the ballgame. The homer was Tolley’s second of the week and fourth of the season.

App State then backed Chirico’s effort with a four-run fifth inning to create some separation. With one out, Alex Aguila and Joseph Zamora tallied back-to-back singles, and CJ Boyd walked to load the bases. Austin St. Laurent then hit a ball that was mishandled by the Salukis’ first baseman allowing two runs to score on the play. After Boyd came into score on a wild pitch, Drew Holderbach plated St. Laurent with an RBI groundout, as eight Mountaineers batted in the frame.

App State’s bullpen was strong as well. Grey LaSpaluto worked 0.2 scoreless innings, giving way to Max Tramontana, who escaped trouble in the seventh and went on to work a scoreless eighth inning. Zach Lewis fanned two batters in a scoreless ninth and has not allowed a run in six outings this season.

The Mountaineers put the game away with a three-run top of the ninth. Aguila again set the table with a leadoff double, and Zamora was hit by a pitch to put two aboard. St. Laurent brought in the first run of the inning on a single through the left side, and Tolley capped a three-hit game with an RBI double to left one batter later.

After a walk to Holderbach, Adam Quintero was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home another run and push the lead to 8-1. Quintero finished with a three-hit effort, as the Mountaineers tallied 12 hits as a team.

App State will return to action on Tuesday as the Mountaineers visit No. 12 Duke in Durham. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field.