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Drew Holderbach
Drew Holderbach went two-for-four with an RBI.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Drops Sun Belt Opener

In a ballgame that was scoreless through six innings of play, App State put the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the ninth inning, before falling 3-2 at Texas State on Friday at Bobcat Ballpark.

Bradley Wilson was outstanding for the Mountaineers in his first start of Sun Belt play. The right-hander allowed just one hit, and struck out six, in six scoreless innings of work.

Wilson escaped a bases loaded jam in the second, after a walk, an infield single and a fielder’s choice gave Texas State a marquee scoring opportunity early. Wilson struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unscathed, and went on to retire the final eight batters he faced in the ballgame. Wilson commanded all of his pitches, running his fastball up to 97 miles-per-hour on the night.

In a game that saw just one runner reach third base in the first six innings of play, the Mountaineers (11-5, 0-1) jumped on the scoreboard first in the seventh. Xavier Moronta was hit by a pitch with one away, and then after a two-out free pass to Braxton Church, Drew Hoderbach singled up the middle to give the visitors a 1-0 edge. Holderbach has now reached base in all 16 games this season.

Texas State (10-8, 1-0) responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to go in front for the first time in the ballgame, and then added an insurance run in the eighth on a wild pitch to pull in front 3-1.

With App State down to its final out in the ninth, Banks Tolley lined a home run over the left field wall, his seventh of the season, to bring the deficit to just a run. Church then walked and Holderbach singled to left, but the Mountaineers were unable to extend the rally any further, stranding the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on base.

The two teams combined for just seven hits in the ballgame, with Austin Eaton allowing just one run over seven innings in his start for the Bobcats.

The teams will play game two of the series on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 3:30 p.m. ET.