Appalachian State baseball fell in the opening game of a three-game series to Troy, 14-5, Friday night at Smith Stadium, but by virtue of a UT Arlington loss to Georgia Southern, the Mountaineers secured a spot in the Sun Belt tournament, beginning Tuesday in Montgomery, Ala.
Troy (30-22, 14-14) jumped out to an early lead, sending eight men to the plate in the first inning and scoring four runs.
App State (18-31, 9-18) battled back multiple times in the ballgame, including in the first inning. Andrew Terrell led off with a single, and after moving from first to third on a single from Austin St. Laurent, scored on a Hayden Cross sacrifice fly.
Trailing, 5-1 in the third inning, St. Laurent trimmed the deficit with a mammoth home run, traveling 446 feet to left field, plating Luke Drumheller, who led off with a single, to make it 5-3. The Mountaineers continued the rally, loading the bases, but ultimately couldn’t cut into the deficit any further.
App State did score two more in the fourth inning. Vasisi Kaloudis tripled to right to lead off the inning and scored on an RBI single one batter later. With one away, Andrew Greckel lifted a sac fly to score Terrell, making it 8-5.
That was as close as the Mountaineers would come. Rigsby Mosely came out of the Trojan bullpen to strike out seven, in 5.2 innings, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. Troy added on with a four-run seventh inning, helped by a two-run double from Jesse Hall, who finished with five hits and four doubles in the ballgame.
The middle game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, with the Mountaineers honoring their nine seniors in a ceremony prior to the contest. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.