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Luke Drumheller
Luke Drumheller was Luke Drumheller went four-for-five batting with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and two RBI.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Edged Out by UNC-Asheville

App State came from behind to tie three different times in the ballgame, but an eighth inning home run from UNC Asheville proved to be the decisive blow in a, 7-6, loss to the Bulldogs Tuesday at Smith Stadium.

Trailing 6-4 in the fifth inning, Golston Gillespie was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. One batter later, Dylan Rogers blasted his fourth home run of the season over the visitor’s bullpen in right field, to tie the score in a seesaw battle through the middle innings.

App State (17-17, 7-7) also drew even at 3-3 and 4-4, earlier in the contest, in a game in which neither team led by more than two runs on the night. The difference came with runners in scoring position, where App State finished just 1-for-13, and stranded 13 batters in the ballgame.

Dante Chirico made his first start of the season for the Mountaineers, and set the tone early. The right-hander retired the first seven batters he faced, including four strikeouts. Chirico finished with six strikeouts in the ballgame, allowing just three unearned runs to score.

App State grabbed an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Jonathan Xuereb in the second inning, which struck halfway up the batter’s eye in straight away center field.

After the Mountaineers fell behind 3-1 in the third, they drew even in the home half of the frame. Luke Drumheller tripled to center with two outs, and Hayden Cross came through with an RBI single to score him one batter later. Cross has now reached base in 23 consecutive games. The Mountaineer catcher came into score on a balk later in the frame.

After the Bulldogs grabbed a 4-3 lead in the fourth, App State again responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning as CJ Boyd was hit by a pitch and came into score on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Grey LaSpaluto impressed in relief for the Mountaineers, striking out five in three innings of work. Offensively, Gillespie reached base four times in the ballgame, while Drumheller and Hunter Wilder each tallied two-hit games.

App State continues their homestand this weekend, when they face off with Old Dominion in a three-game series. Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. and will air on ESPN+. Saturday and Sunday’s games will be radio broadcasts airing on and will get underway at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.