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HomeCollegeApp State jumps past Georgia State early, holds on for 10-7 win

App State jumps past Georgia State early, holds on for 10-7 win

By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. —Before one of the 2023 season’s largest home crowds and a number of notable university officials on March 24, Appalachian State baseball scored early and often then outlasted visiting Georgia State, 10-7.


No fewer than seven Mountaineers crossed home plate with runs and five black-and-gold clad batters collected RBIs. Hitting eighth in the batting order, Alex Aguila arguably had the best day, going 2-for-3, scoring a run and recording 3 RBIs as well as being credited with a stolen base.

App State catcher Hayden Cross (35) rips a double vs. Georgia State on March 24. Photographic image by David Rogers

The Mountaineers’ third baseman, Golston Gillespie also went 2-for-3 on the day, scoring 3 runs and collecting one RBI. Both Aguila and Gillespie walked twice.

Second baseman Austin St. Laurent also had a creditable day at the plate, hitting 2-for-4, including one double, securing 2 RBIs.

Catcher Hayden Cross also was credited with 2 RBIs on the day, the first one in the first inning to get things started for Appalachian State. With the bases loaded in the bottom half of the first inning, Cross (batting cleanup) lofted a long fly ball to centerfield, scoring Xavier Moronta, who tagged up a third, giving Cross a sacrifice fly RBI for his stat line.

Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts is all smiles in manning the athletic department’s new ‘Gatling Gun’ to shoot T-shirts to the packed grandstands. Photographic image by David Rogers

App State scored in every inning except the 7th, including a 3-run outburst in the second inning that saw a pair of walks and a batter hit by a pitch load the bases. St. Laurent capitalized with a single rapped up the middle, scoring Aguila and Andrew Terrell. Xavier Moronta came home for the inning’s third run inning on an error by Georgia State’s shortstop, Matt Ruiz.

The Mountaineers’ 2-run production in the bottom half of the 5th inning featured a little bit of “small ball.” Gillespie started things off with a single through the right side before Hunter Wilder singled to right, too, sending the redshirt senior from Ila, Ga. to third. With runners on first and third, Hunter, a junior outfielder from Port Charlotte, Fla., took advantage of Gillespie as a scoring threat and stole second, putting both App State runners in scoring position. Aguila worked the count to 3-1, then teed off on a pitch down the middle for yet another single through the right side, with both Gillespie and Wilder racing home.

SSSSTTTTRRRRIIIKKKKEEE!!!! – C. Philip Byers, an App State alum and current member of the UNC Board of Governors as well as President of the Challenge Foundation Properties and Senior Managing Partner of Byers, Cotham, Harrington, and Lancaster Strategic Partners, LLC, throws out the first pitch to App State head coach Kermit Smith (1) on March 24, celebrating Byers recent donation of the video board in right center field. The video board is just one of several enhancements the Mountaineers are making to Smith Stadium and Beaver Field. Photographic image by David Rogers

While Georgia State started to get some offense going with two runs in the 8th inning and 3 more in the top half of the 9th to tighten the early deficit, App State countered with Gillespie seventh home run of the season for an insurance run in the bottom half of the 8th.

Starting pitcher Xander Hamilton (4-1) was credited with the win, allowing just two runs on five hits, walking three and striking out nine. He threw 112 total pitches, 72 of them strikes.

Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts (center) may have given the Mountaineers a little extra boost when she visited the dugout before the team’s 10-7 win over Georgia State on March 24. Photographic image by David Rogers

Joseph Brandon (2-1) picked up the loss on the mound for the visiting Panthers, as the starter. He pitched only the first two innings, giving up only two hits, but seeing four App State runners cross the plate, helped by Brandon walking four and three of the four runs rule “unearned” because of fielding errors.

The teams will return to action for Game 2 of the 3-day series on Saturday, March 25, at 3 p.m.


  • APP – Xander Hamilton (SP): WIN, 6.1 innings pitched, allowed 2 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
  • APP – Golston Gillespie (1B): 2-3, 3 runs scored, 1 RBI, HR
  • APP – Austin St. Laurent (RF): 2-4, 2 RBIs
  • APP – Doubles by Hayden Cross and Luke Drumheller
  • APP – Stolen bases by Xavier Moronta, Hunter Wilder, Alex Aguila
  • GSU – Luke Boynton (1B): 2-3, 3 runs scored, 2 RBIs, HR, 2 walks
  • GSU – Max Ryerson (DH): 2-5, 1 run scored, 1 RBI
  • GSU – Will Mize (SS): 2-3, 1 RBI


Alex Aguila laces the ball to right during App State’s 10-7 win over Georgia State on March 24. Photographic image by David Rogers
Xavier Moronta crosses home plate with the Mountaineers first run on March 24, in App State’s 10-7 win over Georgia State. Photographic image by David Rogers
Austin St. Laurent (7) lays down a bunt single down the third base line on March 24 vs. Georgia State, advancing Xavier Moronta to second and scoring position in the process. Photographic image by David Rogers
You’re out! App State first baseman Golston Gillespie fields a throw from second baseman Luke Drumheller to put out the Georgia State runner, centerfielder Cameron Jones, on March 24 during the Mountaineers 10-7 win over the Panthers. Photographic image by David Rogers
Yosef has some pregame fun entertaining early arrivers on March 24 at Smith Stadium for the game between App State and Georgia State. Photographic image by David Rogers

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