By David Rogers. HICKORY, N.C. — For the first two innings of Appalachian State’s Feb. 18 baseball game vs. Queens at the Hickory Crawdads’ LP Frans Stadium, both teams got runners on base, only to be left stranded. But when the Mountaineer dam broke, it gushed to a 5-2 win over the Royals.
Mountaineer catcher Hayden Cross was involved in almost every aspect of his team’s run production, going 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs and a run scored, including smacking a double and a single while drawing a pair of base on balls.
Designated hitter Xavier Moronta added two runs scored while hitting 3-for-4, and getting hit by a pitch during one at bat.
Sophomore left fielder C J Boyd, junior right fielder Dylan Rogers, and redshirt senior first baseman Golston Gillespie were also credited with RBIs for their afternoon’s work.
Starting pitcher Bradley Wilson, a redshirt sophomore Lillington, N.C., pitched five innings of one-hit ball, including 3 strikeouts and 5 walks while facing 20 batters to pick up the win. Junior righthander, Dante Chirico earned the save after giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 errors during his 4 innings of work in relief.
The Royals got on the scoreboard in the top of the 6th inning when centerfielder Andrew McDermott tripled to center field, scoring second baseman Christian Maggio, who had walked and Nick Alderfer who had reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Attendance for the game was 594, enjoying the sunshine and perfect playing conditions.
With the win, App State improves to 2-0 on the young season, adding to the opening day win over the Royals, which was also a 5-2 decision. They close out the “home” series against Queens at LP Frans Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 19, with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Mountaineer lefthander Ryan Sleeper and Queens righthander Jeffery Maidhof are scheduled to start on the mound.
App State travels to High Point on Feb. 21 before returning for a 2023 official home opener at Smith Stadium on Feb. 25, vs. North Carolina A&T.