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Austin St Laurent
Austin St Laurent went three-for-five batting with two runs scored and an RBI.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Baseball Drops Opener to South Alabama

App State slugged three-home runs in the ballgame, but the offense was quieted throughout the middle innings in a 9-5 loss to South Alabama Friday at Smith Stadium.

Due to forecasted inclement weather, first pitch of game two of the series has been pushed back to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

After falling behind 4-0 in the top of the first inning that saw the Jaguars (27-18, 11-11) bat around, the Mountaineers (26-16-1, 11-10-1) wasted no time closing the gap. In the bottom half of the first, Austin St. Laurent and Drew Holderbach lined back-to-back singles to begin the frame. With two outs, Kameron Miller drilled an opposite-field three-run home run to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Miller’s home run was his fifth of the season and third in the last two games.

The score remained that way until the seventh inning. Collin Welch was terrific out of the Mountaineers bullpen, at one point retiring 11 out of 12 opposing batters. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and stranded two more runners in the third before really settling in. Welch ultimately tossed five innings in relief, allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out three.

After giving up three runs in the first inning, Jaguars’ starter Cam Hill bounced back thereafter, ultimately giving up just three runs over four innings and striking out three without walking a batter.

The Jaguars widened the gap down the stretch with back-to-back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning before plating a pair of runs on wild pitches in the eighth, pushing the lead to 9-3.

After Jaxon Shineflew retired the first nine batters he faced in relief, the Mountaineers finally got to the lefty in the bottom of the eighth inning when St. Laurent and Holdebach hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the frame. Holderbach extended his on-base streak to 43 in a row with a two-hit game, while St. Laurent led the Mountaineers with three hits on the night.

The Mountaineers scattered nine hits in the ballgame but were unable to register any other base runners in the contest.

Jordan Fisher struck out two in relief to end the eighth inning and Ryan Sleeper fired a scoreless ninth in relief for the Black and Gold.