Appalachian State University baseball prepares to host seven-straight games at home, beginning with Georgia State this weekend.
Game One will take place on Friday, April 20 at 6 p.m. while Game Two and Three will get underway at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Games One and Two will be streamed on appstatesports.com with Sunday's matchup airing on ESPN3.
NOTING THIS WEEKEND’S SERIES
• Appalachian State baseball (14-23, 4-11 Sun Belt) will look to start out its seven-game homestand on the right food as it hosts Georgia State (13-23, 3-12 Sun Belt).
• The all-time series has the Panthers with a 8-3 advantage coming into this weekend’s series. The majority of those games have come since Appalachian joined the FBS Sun Belt Conference in 2015, however the first meeting between the two teams came in 1979.
• Appalachian State have gotten back on track after a recent skid, winning two of their last four, including taking one from Georgia Southern.
• The Mountaineers have won their games of late with big slugging from their hitters, hitting eight home runs in the last three games.
• Vernon currently leads the team with a .305 batting average, having a .481 slugging percentage. Stroup has bat .274 with a .500 slugging percentage and leads the team with seven home runs and 23 RBI.
• Stroup also became the second Appalachian player to hit for the cycle in 14 years on March 21 (See “Stroup Emerges as Power Hitter” below).
• Conner Leonard’s bat has exploded of late, jumping to second on the team in home runs (six) after jacking one in each of his last three games. The home run streak (three games) is by far the longest of the season for Appalachian.
• In Leonard’s last three games, he’s gone 6-for-13 with seven RBI.
• Appalachian’s Saturday starting pitcher Colin Schmid is coming off a record-setting performance last weekend. The sophomore lefty struck out a career-high 13 batters on the night – the most by any App pitcher since at least 2003.
• Schmid’s 13 Ks is the third highest by any pitcher in the Sun Belt this season (Alex Cunningham, Coastal Carolina - 14 vs. San Francisco), and second highest in league play (Austin Crook, Troy - 14 vs. ULL).
• The Mountaineers struck out 18 in all that night (Reed Howell punched out five in relief) for the highest total this season. It’s the most the team has cumulatively struck out since April 21, 2011 (19 at Davidson in 12 innings).
• Appalachian has been in almost every game this season no matter the opponent with 10 of its 23 losses this season have come by two runs or less.
• Pitching has continued to be a staple this season for the Black and Gold, currently sixth overall as a team in the Sun Belt with a 4.42 ERA after being third earlier in the season with a 4.03 ERA. Appalachian is also tied fourth in the league in pickoffs with eight.
• LHP/DH Schmid has continued to be the Mountaineers’ two-way player this season again and with a team-best season ERA of 2.91 (good for 10th in SBC), he continues to be one of the best two-way players in the Sun Belt Conference despite a slow start at the plate (see “Schmid Continues To Be One of Sun Belt’s Two-Way Studs” below).
• After a hitting slump, Schmid emerged on April 18 at Radford, going 2-for-4 for a double on the night. He also crossed the plate once.
• Another two-way player for Appalachian has been Matt Brill. The Apps’ ace closer, Brill hit .421 (7-17) during a five-game stretch with two doubles, a home run and two RBI to finish with a .765 slugging percentage. He also crossed the plate twice himself.
• Matt Vernon is currently riding the longest active hit streak for the Mountaineers (five). In those five games, Vernon’s gone 7-for-18, two RBI, two doubles and a homer.
• At 12 wins, Appalachian State is seven wins away having it’s most victories since 2014 (21).
• The weekend’s matchup on the mound this weekend will have usual weekend starters go: RHP Travis Holden, LHP Colin Schmid and RHP Luke Watts. Georgia State will put RHP Bryce Conley, RHP Hunter Gaddis, LHP Devin Vainer out there.
• Holden enters Friday with a 5.92 ERA and a 1-6 record in 51.2 innings of work. He’s allowed 34 earned runs, 72 hits and struck out 35 batters this season and is one of 52 pitchers nationally to throw a complete game this season (March 17 at Louisiana).
• Holden’s last outing was an impressive one, as he allowed just six hits and two earned runs in 7.0 IP, striking out five as well against Georgia Southern.
• Schmid enters Saturday with a team-best and seventh-league leading ERA of 2.72. With a 5-4 record and 59.2 innings of work, he’s allowed just 58 hits, 18 earned runs, striking out a team-high 56 batters (sixth in SBC). His .261 opponents batting average is first among starters.
• Watts enters Sunday with the second-best ERA among starters (5.04) and a 1-4 record in nine appearances. Through 50.0 innings, he’s allowed just 63 hits, 29 runs and struck out 42 batters. He has a .315 opponents batting average, which is third-best among starters.
• During the Little Rock series, Appalachian won a game despite allowing 17 runs. Nationally, only 12 teams have won a game allowing more.
• Entering the weekend, starting catcher Chandler Seagle and is third in the Sun Belt Conference by catching 12 would-be base stealers. DH/LHP Schmid is also fourth in SBC at a career-high 10 (from the mound) while Seagle’s have come from behind the dish. Hampton, Watts and Bradley Davis are next highest on the team with two.
• Since 2003, Schmid has the lowest stolen-base-against percentage for Appalachian baseball, allowing just 48 percent through two years (12-31).
• Seagle has caught 38.7 percent of would-be base thieves this season (12-31), leading the conference (see “Sharp-Shooters Behind the Dish” below).
• The all-time series has the Panthers with a 8-3 advantage coming into this weekend’s series.
• Recent games between the two teams have come since Appalachian joined the FBS Sun Belt Conference in 2015, however the first meeting between the two teams came in 1979.
• Before 2015, the two teams faced off six times.
|APPALACHIAN STATE BASEBALL at Georgia State
App State Probable
|Friday, April 21||Georgia State||6 p.m.||Jr. RHP Travis Holden||Sr. RHP Bryce Conley|
|Saturday, April 22||Georgia State||2 p.m.||So. LHP Colin Schmid||
Fr. RHP Hunter Gaddis
|Saturday, April 23||Georgia State||1 p.m.||Jr. RHP Luke Watts||
Sr. LHP Devin Vainer