By Matt Present for App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. – App State scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back, putting multiple runners on base in all but one offensive inning, and pulling away for a 10-6 win over James Madison, Friday at Smith Stadium.
With the Mountaineers (20-18, 10-8) leading 2-1 in the third inning, Golston Gillespie launched a two-run home run, over the video board in right field, scoring Hayden Cross, who led the inning off with a single to right.
The home run traveled 436-feet, and was Gilliespie’s 11th home run of the season. Cross finished with a two-hit game, tallying an RBI single in the first, extending his on-base streak to 27 consecutive games.
Later in the inning, Jonathan Xuereb was hit by a pitch and Dylan Rogers walked, and with both in scoring position after a groundout, the duo scored on a hustle play in which Andrew Terrell beat out an infield single, making it 6-1.
After JMU plated two runs in the top of the fifth inning to trim the Mountaineers lead to 6-3, App State responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. Rogers was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Terrell singled to left field two batters later. CJ Boyd then smacked an opposite field double to right-center to make it 8-3. Rogers was hit by four pitches in the ballgame while drawing a walk in his only other plate appearance.
Gillespie added an RBI double in the sixth, and Terrell notched his third hit of the ballgame to drive in an insurance run in the eighth.
Xander Hamilton earned his seventh win of the season, giving up five runs (four earned) in 5.2 innings. He walked two and struck out four to give him 79 strikeouts on the season. The Mountaineers are now 9-2 when he starts a ballgame.
Collin Welch followed by striking out three in 2.1 innings out of the bullpen, and Dante Chirico tossed a scoreless ninth, picking up two strikeouts in the process.
The middle game of the series is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday with App State righty Bradley Wilson facing off with JMU righty Todd Mozoki. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+.