Behind strong pitching from Trey Tujetsch, App State took a three-run lead into the seventh inning against No. 19 Charlotte, but the visiting 49ers rallied to claim an 11-8 victory Tuesday night.
The Mountaineers (15-17) led 6-3 with Tujetsch holding Charlotte (26-10) scoreless in five of the first six innings, including 1-2-3 efforts in the first, second and fifth frames. He retired three straight batters after a leadoff walk in the sixth, recording his sixth and seventh strikeouts of the game.
After a pitching change with one away in the seventh, Carson Johnson’s RBI double with two on and Austin Knight’s three-run homer to center gave the 49ers their first lead of the night. The advantage increased to 10-6 before App State put together a two-run eighth, with Robbie Young scoring on Kendall McGowan’s triple and McGowan coming home on Andrew Terrell’s RBI single.
The Mountaineers used a three-run third to build a 4-0 advantage and answered a three-run top of the fourth from Charlotte with two more runs in the bottom half of the frame — Trent Lewis’ double scored Dalton Williams, who had singled to begin the frame, and Lewis raced home on Alex Leshock’s sacrifice fly.
McGowan (2-for-4, two extra-base hits, two runs) and Terrell (2-for-2 off the bench) were the leading hitters on a balanced night offensively. McGowan, Terrell, Lewis, Leshock, Young, Peyton Idol, Luke Drumheller and Hayden Cross all had one RBI apiece.
McGowan’s leadoff double in the bottom of the second inning preceded Williams’ productive groundout and Cross’ RBI groundout.
Leshock opened the bottom of the third with an infield single and moved to third on Bailey Welch’s double. Idol was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Drumheller, who recovered from an 0-2 count to hit a sacrifice fly. Welch scored on an RBI groundout from Young, and Idol’s steal of third base turned into a run when a wild pitch allowed him to race all the way around to home.
Division-leading App State, with a 6-3 league record, resumes its Sun Belt schedule Friday at Troy.