ASU left-handers Ryne Frankoff and Chad Farmer limited ETSU, which was hitting .308 as a team coming in, to just one hit over the first six innings to help stake the Mountaineers to a 3-0 lead. However, the Bucs ruined the southpaws’ fine work when Kerry Doane knotted the game at 3-3 with a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Things completely unraveled for Appalachian (16-14) in the eighth, as three pitchers surrendered six runs on four hits to allow ETSU (17-9) to take a commanding 9-3 lead. Only two of the Bucs’ four hits in the eighth — all singles — left the infield but ASU’s three hurlers combined to issue four walks and throw two wild pitches in the fateful frame.
The Mountaineers put the tying run on deck in the top of the ninth when ETSU closer Bo Reeder walked in a run but Reeder struck out Jason Wallace to end the game and snap Appalachian’s season-high-tying four-game winning streak.
Zack Briggs ran his hitting streak to an ASU season-best 10 games with a solo homer in the fourth inning while Jeremy Dowdy, Doug Jones and Derek Brown also drove in runs for the Mountaineers.
Zach Joyce walked the only batter he faced in the seventh to suffer the loss and fall to 0-1.
Doane not only went 2-for-4 with four RBI at the plate but also got the win on the mound with a perfect inning of relief to move to 2-0.
Appalachian returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game Southern Conference series at Furman. The series opener is set for 7 p.m. at FU’s Latham Stadium.