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Xavier Moronta
Xavier Moronta went three-for-four batting with a run scored and three RBI.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Opens Slate Against Marshall With Win

App State received a strong start from Xander Hamilton, and the offense carried them to the finish line, as they defeated Marshall, 12-4, at GoMart Ballpark to open conference play.

The Mountaineers (9-7, 1-0) gave Hamilton the lead before he even took the mound, and scored runs in each of the final five frames, highlighted by a seven-run ninth inning, to snap a six-game losing streak.

Hamilton (win, 3-1) finished the game with nine strikeouts, and allowed just one run on five hits in six innings of work.

Tied at 1-1 in the fifth inning, Andrew Terrell worked a one-out walk, and Xavier Moronta followed with an RBI double to score him, giving the Mountaineers a lead that they would not relinquish. The combination of Terrell and Moronta was big for App State throughout the night, finishing a combined 6-for-8 with three RBIs and four runs scored.

Leading 5-1 in the ninth inning, the Mountaineers poured it on at the plate. Alex Aguila led off the frame with a single, and Terrell followed with a double to the gap in right-center. Moronta then drove them both home with a two-run single to left to make it 7-1. After Luke Drumheller and Hayden Cross each plated runs with RBI singles, Golston Gillespie belted a three-run home run, his fourth of the season, to increase the lead to 12-1.

Skylar Brooks took over for Hamilton on the mound in the seventh, and went on to work two scoreless innings in relief. Brooks retired all six batters he faced, including three strikeouts. App State pitching finished the night with 13 strikeouts.

App State also tacked on a run each in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, highlighted by a CJ Boyd solo home run in his second game back from injury. App State finished with 15 hits in the ballgame, including six for extra bases.