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CJ Boyd
CJ Boyd holds the career home run record with his 34th and 35th home runs despite the loss.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Splits Doubleheader Against Troy

After falling 17-2 in game one of its doubleheader on Saturday, App State turned the page in a big way in game two, as Jackson Steensma set a career-high in strikeouts, while the offense clubbed five home runs in an 11-1 win to earn the split at Smith Stadium.

In game one, the Mountaineers (20-12, 6-8) fell victim to a trio of big innings in the opening game of the twin-bill as Troy batted around in the third, fifth and eighth innings, scoring four, five and seven runs respectively in those frames.

At the plate the Mountaineers offense came from CJ Boyd, who belted his 12th home run of the season in the third, and plated Joseph Zamora, who reached on a double, with a sac fly in the sixth.

Troy (24-12, 8-6) took advantage of 17 walks in the ballgame, which were the most issued by App State pitching in program history.

App State finished with just six hits in the ballgame, as Luke Lyon tossed an eight-inning complete game for Troy.

In game two, Jackson Steensma was dialed in from the get-go, retiring the first seven batters he faced in the ballgame, including four strikeouts over his first two innings of work.

Steensma (win, 4-1) fanned two more in the third, and two more in the fifth on his way to setting a career-high with ten strikeouts, while allowing just one run on three hits in six innings of work.

The lone run Steensma allowed was on a solo home run in the fourth inning, but he bounced back to strand a pair of runners in the frame. Steensma allowed just five base runners to reach in the ballgame and issued only one walk.

The offense provided the sophomore right-hander with plenty of support. Banks Tolley gave the Mountaineers the early lead in the first inning with a solo home run to left field.

Boyd blasted a no-doubt home run in the third inning to push the lead to 2-0. The long ball was the 30th of Boyd’s career, tying Wes Hobson (2007-10) for fourth most in program history.

Leading 2-1 in the fifth, the Mountaineers blew the game open, batting around in the frame. After infield singles from Boyd and Austin St. Laurent, Tolley clocked a three-run home run for his second blast of the game to push the lead to 6-1. Tolley has now hit 14 home runs this season, bringing him within three of the program record with at least 19 games to play.

After a Trojan pitching change, Braxton Church continued the rally, lifting an opposite field shot to left for his fifth home run of the season.

App State added a pair of runs in the eighth on back-to-back doubles from Hunter Wider and Zamora, who came into score on a wild pitch.

Leading 9-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Adam Quintero reached on a two-out single. Following another Troy pitching change, Graham Smiley smoked a walk-off home run to left field, giving the Mountaineers an 11-1 run rule victory.

Saturday marked the second time this season, and just the fourth in program history that the Mountaineers have hit five home runs in a game.

The doubleheader split sets up a rubber game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}