Andrew Greckel created a nine-run cushion with an inside-the-park homer, Phillp Cole delivered a grand slam after North Carolina A&T cut into its deficit and eight App State pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts on a staff day that ended with a 14-5 home victory.
The Mountaineers (7-8) improved to 4-0 at home this season — all wins against the Aggies (5-11) — and are 6-0 on Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium since the new turf was installed before the shortened 2020 season.
App State got at least one hit from 10 different players, including a 3-for-3 day from Kendall McGowan. The game began with a battery of two freshmen, pitcher Ben Peterson and catcher Carson Arnold, making their first career starts.
Peterson was credited with the win, as he threw two scoreless innings and gave way to Jeriah Henry with a 5-0 lead. With two runners in scoring position and nobody out in the top of the third, Henry struck out three straight batters.
AJ Stinson and Shane Roberts also pitched a scoreless inning apiece to help the Mountaineers build a 9-0 lead through five innings. North Carolina A&T had turned a 10-1 deficit into a 10-4 game with the bases loaded and two away in the seventh, but Cam Roberts came in and stranded three runners with a strikeout before pitching a scoreless eighth.
Arnold threw out a dirt-ball attempt to swipe third base late in the game. Offensively, Andrew Terrell, Luke Drumheller (double off the top of the wall), Alex Leshock and Cole also had multi-hit games.
On Greckel’s inside-the-park homer in the sixth inning, he hit a deep drive toward the wall in left-center. The ball sharply hit the back of the left fielder, who had tried to make a leaping catch, and rolled behind him nearly to the foul line. It took approximately seven seconds for the defender to retrieve the ball, giving Greckel time to round the bases and score with an uncontested slide.
Cole’s seventh-inning grand slam followed Leshock being hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, Bailey Welch drawing a walk and Terrell hitting a single to center.