Appalachian (3-0) outscored Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-3), 26-2, in sweeping the first-ever series between the two schools.
On Sunday, right-hander Seth Grant delivered ASU's third-straight terrific start on the mound, allowing just two soft hits and striking out five in six innings of scoreless work to earn the win. Grant needed just 72 pitches to get through six innings with UMES only managing a slow-rolling single up the third-base line and a bloop hit into right field against the 6-4, 215-pound junior.
Offensively, the Mountaineers gave their pitchers all the support they would need with three runs in the first inning. Hector Crespo led off by walking for the sixth-straight plate appearance then stole second and third base. After Jeremy Dowdy walked, cleanup hitter Trey Holmes belted a double off the wall in left center field that scored both Crespo and Dowdy to give Appalachian a 2-0 lead. One batter later, Holmes scored on an RBI single by Zack Briggs to give the Apps what proved to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
ASU went on to score single runs in the fourth and sixth innings and two in the seventh and eighth stanzas to cap the rout.
Holmes led the offensive onslaught for the second day in a row, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Briggs and Tyler Zupcic chipped in with two hits and two RBI apiece and Crespo went 2-for-4 with an RBI, run scored and a spectacular diving catch at second base that preserved the shutout in the eighth inning.
Southpaws Tyler Jackson and Chad Farmer combined for three innings of one-hit relief to secure the Mountaineers' second shutout in the first three games of the year.
Walks plagued UMES starter Tyler Witte, who issued six free passes in six innings and suffered the loss. Leadoff hitter Tre-von Johnson had two of the Hawks' three hits.
Appalachian embarks on its first true road trip of the season when it plays at Gardner-Webb on Tuesday at 4 p.m., followed by a three-game series at traditional national power Miami (Fla.) on Thursday (7 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.).