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Baseball Sweeps Twinbill from A&T
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Tuesday 04/06/2010 (ET)
Courtesy: Mike Towarnicky
Doug Jones hit a game-tying inside-the-park home run and later scored the winning run in ASU's 3-2 victory over N.C. A&T in the nightcap of a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday at Smith Stadium.

BOONE, N.C. - Freshman Hector Crespo hit a walk-off double into the right field corner to complete Appalachian State University baseball's doubleheader sweep over visiting North Carolina A&T on Tuesday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Appalachian won the first game, 15-4, and the second, 3-2.

Appalachian (19-7-1) appeared in danger of dropping its first non-conference game of the season when it trailed 2-0 in the fifth inning of Tuesday's seven-inning nightcap. However, Doug Jones sparked a Mountaineer rally with a two-out, inside-the-park home run that knotted the score at 2-2.

On the tying hit, the sophomore shortstop drove a 3-2 pitch into the right-center field gap for what looked to be an RBI triple. But as N.C. A&T center fielder George Hines was fielding the ball, his legs got tangled in the outfield fence and the speedy Jones took advantage of Hines' misfortune, never letting up as he rounded the bases and easily beating the throw to the plate for ASU's second inside-the-park home run of the season (David Towarnicky hit the first versus Rider on March 6).

Thanks to Appalachian closer Chris Patterson, who turned in 1.2 innings of one-hit scoreless relief, the score remained tied heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning.

With one out in the seventh, Jones hit a hard grounder to first that scooted under the glove of A&T first baseman Nick Rogers for an error. On the very next pitch, Crespo belted a double down the right field line that easily brought Jones home all the way from first with the winning run.

Crespo and Jones led ASU's winning effort in game two, with Crespo going 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI double and Jones scoring the tying and winning runs in a 1-for-3, two-RBI performance. Towarnicky also had two hits in the nightcap.

Patterson earned the win to move to 2-1 while N.C. A&T's Jonathan Smith surrendered the unearned run in the seventh to suffer the tough-luck loss and fall to 0-2.

Starting pitcher Seth Grant was the story for Appalachian in the opener, as he turned in eight solid innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out six to earn his first-career victory. The eight innings and six strikeouts were both career highs for the right-handed sophomore, who moved to 1-0 on the season.

The Mountaineers scored early and often in support of Grant. The Apps plated two runs in each of the first three innings and one more in the fourth to take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Aggies cut the ASU advantage to 7-3 with four runs in the top of the fifth but Appalachian responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on four more in the seventh to account for the final margin.

Wes Hobson, Jerod Faggart and Jeremy Dowdy had three hits each to lead the Mountaineers' 15-run, 16-hit onslaught in the opener. Faggart and Hobson also hit home runs — Faggart's team-leading ninth of the season and Hobson's sixth — and drove in three runs apiece.

With the victories, Appalachian moved to 15-0 in non-conference games this season and 26-2-1 in its last 29 home games.

The Mountaineers close a nine-game homestand this weekend when they host Davidson for a three-game Southern Conference series. Game times are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Smith Stadium.
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