Playing the first of seven scheduled games against ACC opponents this season, App State lost 15-7 at Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
At 4-2 in league play, App State (11-12 overall) returns to action next at Coastal Carolina for a three-game series that runs from Thursday through Saturday on Easter weekend. Wake Forest improved to 9-9 coming off a weekend in which it took the final two games of an ACC series at No. 17 Florida State.
Offensively, Kendall McGowan hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and led the way Tuesday by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
McGowan also produced an RBI single in the fourth inning and scored on an infield single from Alex Leshock. Luke Drumheller, who scored on McGowan’s fourth-inning single, doubled earlier in that frame and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning. Robbie Young followed that with an RBI triple as part of a 2-for-4 night.
Bailey Welch had one hit, and Andrew Terrell drew two walks.
App State used six pitchers, with reliever Trey Tujetsch recording three strikeouts in a scoreless fifth inning and striking out five batters in three total innings. Evan Mauldin added two strikeouts in a scoreless seventh, and Terrell struck out both batters he faced after moving from right field to the mound with one away in the eighth.
Wake Forest scored in five of the first six innings on a night in which it hit six homers and drew 12 walks.
Brock Wilken homered twice out of the No. 5 hole, while No. 6 hitter Michael Ludowig, No. 7 hitter Shane Muntz and No. 8 hitter Adam Cecere also went deep. Wilken, Ludowig and Muntz opened the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back-to-back homers, and leadoff hitter Lucas Costella hit an eighth-inning grand slam.
The first four Wake Forest batters of the game reached — three on walks — but it led just 2-0 after one inning as third baseman Peyton Idol started a 5-4-3 double play and Ben Peterson applied a tag at home when a Demon Deacons runner tried to score from third on a pitch that went to the backstop.
Austin Primm retired both batters he faced after entering with one out and the bases loaded in the second inning, but Wake Forest led 4-0 after two innings and 7-0 after three.