Fresh off perhaps the biggest season-opening win in its 110-year program history, Appalachian State University baseball opens the home portion of its 2013 slate on Monday when it hosts Canisius. The home opener is set for 3 p.m. at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
Appalachian State (1-0) opened the campaign with a 6-3 victory at No. 8 NC State last Friday, handing Wolfpack all-America pitcher Carlos Rodon the first loss of his collegiate career in the process. A rare snowstorm in the Triangle washed out the final two games of what was scheduled to be a three-game series, giving the Mountaineers two unexpected days of rest heading into Monday's home opener.
Appalachian put together an incredible 24-2 record at Smith Stadium last season and is 84-26-1 at its home ballpark since 2009. Monday's home opener will be the Mountaineers' first game at Smith Stadium since they closed the 2012 home slate with 5-3 win over Gardner-Webb on May 15 of last year.
Since then, the Apps clinched their first Southern Conference championship since 1987, made their first NCAA Regional appearance since 1986 and have claimed three wins over nationally ranked opponents, including last Friday's triumph over the eighth-ranked Wolfpack.
Canisius (2-1) is closing out an extended weekend trip to North Carolina with Monday's contest in Boone. The Golden Griffins swept a doubleheader from Albany on Friday at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary before dropping a 9-1 decision to Delaware on Sunday in Wilson.
Canisius is a perennial power in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and has averaged 35 wins a season since 2008. The Mountaineers saw first-hand how dangerous Canisius is in '08 when they dropped 3-of-4 games to the Golden Griffins in Kannapolis, N.C. Despite the series loss in '08, the Mountaineers hold a 5-3 all-time advantage against Canisius, thanks to a four-game sweep over Griffins in 2006.
Appalachian State will send sophomore left-hander Jeffrey Springs (2-1, 4.80 ERA in 2012) to the mound for Monday's home opener. He'll be opposed by Canisius right-hander Billy Martin, a fifth-year senior that was 6-4 with a 4.67 ERA a season ago.
|APPALACHIAN STATE BASEBALL (1-0) vs. Canisius (2-1)
Monday, Feb. 18 • 3 p.m. • Boone, N.C. • Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium
|Appalachian State Probable Starting Pitcher||Canisius Probable Starting Pitcher|
|So. LHP Jeffrey Springs (2-1, 4.80 ERA in 2012)||Sr. RHP Billy Martin (6-4, 4.67 ERA)|