BOONE, N.C. – Clinging to a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Appalachian State catcher Jeremy Dowdy and third baseman Noah Holmes hit back-to-back two-out doubles and the Mountaineers held on in the ninth for a 6-4 win over Duke on Wednesday night at Smith Stadium. The win was Appalachian State’s eighth straight victory.
Appalachian State (10-2) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Will Callaway lined a two-out single to right to get the inning going. After Callaway stole second, designated hitter Daniel Kassouf sent an RBI-single through the right side to drive in the game’s first run. The Mountaineers would load the bases later in the inning but Duke starter Nick Piscotty got Holmes to pop out to short to end the frame.
Center fielder Tyler Zupcic had a two-out, two-run homer to left and right fielder Tyler Tewell added a two-run triple to right in the second inning to extend Appalachian State’s lead to 5-0.
With one out and runners on the corners in the top of the fourth, second baseman Mark Lumpa drove in Duke’s first run on an RBI-single through the left side. Catcher Ryan Munger followed with an RBI-double to the wall in right field, scoring left fielder Anthony D’Alessandro from second to cut ASU’s lead to 5-2.
Third baseman Jordan Betts scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the sixth to make it a 5-3 ballgame.
In the top of the seventh, first baseman Jeff Kremer was hit by a pitch and shortstop Matt Berezo drew a walk to start off the inning. After both runners moved up a base on a groundout, right fielder Grant McCabe drove Kremer in with an RBI-infield single, cutting the Mountaineer lead to 5-4.
With a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the seventh, first baseman Trey Holmes sent a hard-hit fly ball to left field but D’Alessandro was there to make a great running catch over his shoulder at the wall to keep the score at 5-4.
McCabe finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Blue Devils at the plate. Kremer went 2-for-3 with a run scored, Betts and D’Alessandro were both 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Lumpa and Munger both finished with a hit and an RBI. Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms added a hit for Duke (7-8).
Appalachian State starter Jeffrey Springs (1-0) earned the win after holding the Blue Devils to two runs on seven hits in five innings of work. Nathan Hyatt picked up his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Piscotty (0-1) took the loss after surrendering five runs on nine hits in four innings. Freshman Andrew Istler threw 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Blue Devils.
Duke will host No. 12 Florida State for a three-game series this weekend at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Friday’s series-opener is set for a 6 p.m. start, Saturday’s game will begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale will be at 1 p.m. GoDuke.com will have exclusive live video coverage of the entire series.