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Austin St Laurent
Austin St Laurent went two-for-four batting with a run scored and three RBI.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Blasts High Point

The smoothness of the three-up-three-down second inning wouldn’t have signaled anything out of the ordinary, but the embraces in the dugout moments later told a different story. Using his patented curveball to get a swinging strike three to end the inning, Tyler Tuthill capped off his long-awaited return to the mound in App State’s 7-1 win over High Point.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in July of 2022, the veteran left-hander was forced to watch the entirety of the 2023 season from the dugout. But in the fourth game of 2024, Tuthill, donning his familiar No. 21 uniform and Block A cap made his return to the bump, providing a triumphant conclusion to an arduous rehab process.

App State (3-1) already had an early lead when Tuthill entered. In fact, they led 3-0 three batters into the ballgame. CJ Boyd led off the afternoon by reaching on an infield single, and Austin St. Laurent followed with a double to the gap in left-center field. That set up Banks Tolley who launched his first home run of the season to deep left field.

Redshirt freshman Carter Boyd started the game for App State. Boyd induced three ground ball outs in the first inning, working around a hit batter, to post a scoreless frame in his first outing for the Mountaineers.

App State used the long ball again to pad their lead in the third. After a walk to Tolley led off the frame, Braxton Church cranked a two-run homer to right field, his second homer of the season, to push the advantage to 5-0.

The Mountaineers pitching staff meanwhile did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, when Cael Chatham homered off of Trey Tujetch, who had worked 2.2 scoreless innings to that point. Tujetch allowed two base runners thereafter, but App State minimized the damage as Collin Welch wiggled out of a bases loaded jam to end the frame.

Welch went on to work 1.2 scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Cody Little, who worked a scoreless eighth inning. Zach Lewis escaped a bases loaded jam in the ninth, striking out two in a scoreless frame to end the ballgame. App State pitchers allowed just three hits on the day.

Meanwhile the offense plated a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Tolley led off the inning with a double, and Drew Holderbach doubled him home later in the frame. After Holderbach advanced to third on a wild pitch, Adam Quintero lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 7-1.

St. Laurent led the offense with a 3-for-4 day, while Tolley reached base four times on two hits and a pair of walks.

For the third consecutive season, App State will host a game in Hickory, as it faces off with Siena in a three-game weekend series, Feb. 23-25. First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m. with action on Saturday and Sunday slated to begin at 1 p.m.