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Baseball Keeps Rolling, Downs Niagara 13-4
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Friday 02/26/2010 (ET)
Courtesy: Marc DeRose
Matt Andress struck out a career-high 12 batters in Friday's 13-4 win over Niagara.

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FOREST CITY, N.C. - Matt Andress struck out a career-high 12 and was backed by an explosive offensive display in Appalachian State University baseball's 13-4 rout over Niagara in the first game of the inaugural North-South Challenge on Friday afternoon at blustery McNair Field.

With the victory, Appalachian moved to 4-0 for the first time since 1996.

With temperatures in the low-40s at game time and a wind chill near freezing, Andress surrendered just one run on four hits and a walk while registering the career-best 12 Ks. He allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in 4-of-6 innings but worked his way out of trouble nearly every time, giving up his only run on a solo homer by Matt Cramer in the second inning.

After Cramer's home run staked Niagara (0-4) to an early 1-0 lead, it was all ASU. Appalachian scored in each of the next five stanzas, highlighted by five runs in the bottom of the second inning and three in the fourth, to grab a commanding 12-1 advantage.

Jeremy Dowdy and Doug Jones both hit solo home runs during the onslaught. Jones, whose homer was the first of his career, also collected a game-high three RBI.

Dowdy, Jerod Faggart, Wes Hobson and David Towarnicky paced ASU's 12-hit attack with two apiece. Five of the Mountaineers' 12 hits went for extra bases.

Despite the power display, the game's defining moment came without the benefit of a base hit when Hector Crespo walked to lead off the third inning, stole second, advanced to third on a ground ball to the pitcher and made a straight steal of home to account for the Apps' lone run in the of the stanza. The highlight-reel sequence headlined a 1-for-2, two-walk, two-steal, three-run effort for the true freshman from Miami.

However, as has been the case for the entire season to date, the story of the game for Appalachian was its pitching, particularly the performance turned in by Andress (2-0). The right-handed senior is just one win shy of matching his entire win total from a season ago and sports a miniscule 0.82 ERA and .132 opponents' batting average. Friday's victory was also the 19th of his career, moving him alone into fifth place on ASU's all-time wins list.

The Mountaineers continue play at the North-South Challenge on Saturday when they take on 2009 NCAA Regional participant Marist at 1 p.m. at McNair Field.
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