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Bloop Hit Dooms Baseball in 2-1 Loss
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Saturday 03/27/2010 (ET)
Courtesy: Mike Towarnicky
Freshman Tyler Jackson scattered five hits over 6.1 innings of one-run work.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Citadel's Josh Pless blooped an RBI single into shallow left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand Appalachian State University baseball a 2-1 loss to the first-place Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at Riley Park.

Appalachian (14-5-1, 2-5-1 SoCon) suffered the heart-breaking loss despite recording an out on the only hard-hit ball in the fateful bottom of the ninth.

ASU center fielder Tyler Zupcic opened the decisive inning by making a terrific catch on Bryan Altman's line drive to the warning tack, taking away at least a double in the 1-1 ballgame.

However, the breaks turned quickly against the Mountaineers, as The Citadel's next batter, David Greene, hit a ball about 30 feet down the first-base line but the swinging bunt was placed perfectly to leave the Apps without a play.

Bulldog shortstop Kyle Jordan followed Greene's infield hit with a seeing-eye single up the middle that just bounced just out of the reach of ASU pitcher Chris Patterson and second baseman Wes Hobson. The slow bouncer allowed Greene to reach third, putting the winning run just 90 feet from home plate.

The Mountaineers elected to intentionally walk first baseman Justin Mackert to bring Pless, a freshman without a college hit, to the plate with the bases loaded. Pless worked the count to 3-1 before he lofted the game-winning bloop single just over ASU's drawn-in infield and in front of left fielder Chris Alessandria.

The late-inning drama overshadowed the performance turned in by Appalachian starting pitcher Tyler Jackson. The freshman southpaw turned in the finest performance of his young career, scattering five hits over 6.1 innings while surrendering just one run.

After Jackson left the ballgame, reliever Taylor Miller allowed just one hit in a scoreless inning before turning it over to Patterson (0-1), who suffered the tough-luck loss after being saddled with his first earned run in 13.1 innings this season.

Offensively, the Mountaineers were equally baffled by The Citadel's pitching trio of Matt Talley, Raymond Copenhaver and Chris Boyce (4-0). The Apps managed just five hits in Saturday's loss, including doubles by Jeremy Dowdy and Zupcic and an RBI single by Alessandria. Appalachian also failed to take advantage of three Bulldog errors and stranded nine runners on base in the loss.

Nick Orvin and Jordan had two hits apiece for The Citadel (17-6, 8-0 SoCon).

ASU will look to salvage the final game of this weekend's three-game Southern Conference series when the clubs square off on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riley Park.
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