Senior right-hander Jason Cornatzer turned in one of the best starts of his career, Sunday, leading App State to a 9-4 victory over Louisiana, to salvage the finale of the three-game series.
Cornatzer earned the win, working a career-high 6.1 innings, giving up just two runs on five hits, while striking out four. Cornatzer leaned heavily on his infield, inducing 10 ground ball outs in a ballgame where App State (15-26, 6-15) did not commit an error defensively.
Meanwhile the offense put up 14 hits at the plate, and a couple of crooked numbers on the scoreboard. App State opened the scoring in the second inning. With one out, Dalton Williams worked a walk, and Austin St. Laurent followed with a single to right-center. Two batters later Jacob Whitley singled through the left side to score Williams. After Vasili Kaloudis walked to load the bases, Andrew Terrell followed with a walk to push across a second run. Luke Drumheller capped the scoring with an RBI single to right, one of his four hits on the afternoon, to make it 3-0.
The Mountaineers added a run in each of the next two innings. Dylan Rogers led off the third with a double into the right field corner. After advancing to third on a groundout, Rogers scored on an RBI single from St. Laurent, who also finished with a three-hit ballgame.
App State again loaded the bases in the fourth inning, and plated a run when RJ Johnson was hit by a pitch, scoring Andrew Greckel, who began the rally with an infield single.
App State then pulled away with a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by a two-run single from St. Laurent with the bases loaded. Whitley also drove in a run with an RBI single two batters later.
After Cameron Kepley tossed an inning in relief, Cameron Carter recorded the final five outs, striking out two to earn his first save with the Mountaineers.
App State concludes their five-game homestand Tuesday when they welcome ETSU for a midweek showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Smith Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.