App State lost at Little Rock, as the Trojans claimed a 4-2 victory Saturday night.
The Mountaineers (17-28, 8-9) were unable to capitalize on early scoring chances against starter Aaron Funk, who finished with 11 strikeouts in 8.1 innings, and Little Rock (20-25, 10-10) took the lead for good on a two-run double in the second inning.
The Trojans led 4-0 going to the ninth inning, but Bailey Welch led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out double from Kendall McGowan to chase Funk. App State scored two runs on Robbie Young’s RBI groundout and a throwing error on a groundout to short from Trent Lewis.
A strikeout with the tying run at the plate ended the game. Game 3 of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) on Sunday.
App State’s Jason Cornatzer made his first mound start since the 2019 Sun Belt tournament on Friday and allowed three earned runs in five innings, which tied a career high.
Cy Smith pitched two scoreless innings, inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the sixth and striking out two batters in the seventh, before Shane Roberts pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Welch went 2-for-4 at the top of the order, and Luke Drumheller’s three hard-hit balls resulted in three lineouts. McGowan also went 2-for-4.
Welch led off the game with a double, but a lineout on a hard-hit ball to second turned into a tough-luck double play. The next two batters in the top of the first reached, as McGowan singled and Young walked, but a strikeout ended the frame.
Dalton Williams led off the second inning with a walk, and Alex Leshock reached on an infield single with two away, but an errant throw to first led to Williams being thrown out while trying to advance to third.
Defensively, App State limited the Trojans to a two-run second thanks to a 9-2-4 double play in which Williams threw out a runner at the plate following a single and catcher Carson Arnold threw to second to erase the hitter attempting to advance.