By Matt Present for App State Sports. HICKORY, N.C. – App State opened the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back home runs, and the offense never looked back, defeating Queens, 13-5, to complete an opening weekend sweep.
The Mountaineers’ (3-0) sweep was their first since they won three straight at Smith Stadium against Arkansas State March 19-21, 2021. They held Queens (0-3) without a hit through the first five innings of play.
On the third pitch of the bottom of the first inning, fifth-year senior Andrew Terrell crushed a home run to left-center field, and one batter later Xavier Moronta hit a line-drive shot over the right field fence, his first home run as a Mountaineer, to put App State ahead, 2-0, two batters into the ballgame.
One inning later, Terrell struck again. After Jonathan Xuereb reached on a run-scoring error to prolong the inning, Terrell delivered a 413-foot blast to left field to put App State ahead, 5-0.
Terrell became just the sixth Mountaineer since at least 2013 to enjoy a multi-homer game, and the first to do so since Joel McDaniel hit two home runs in a game at Coastal Carolina on May 17, 2019. Terrell had homered just twice total in his first four seasons at App State.
The App State offense scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings of play. Austin St. Laurent led off the third inning with a single up the middle, and after stealing second, scored on an RBI single from C.J. Boyd two batters later. Boyd then also stole second, and came into score on an RBI single from Luke Drumheller to put the Mountaineers ahead, 7-0.
Boyd then highlighted a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double down the left field line, as App State took an 11-1 lead.
Ryan Sleeper made his first start for the Mountaineers on the mound. The lefty struck out five in 2.2 innings of work. He exited with the bases loaded and two outs in the third, but Zach Lewis (win, 1-0) came in and induced a groundout to escape the jam.
App State pitching did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, when Queens broke through with back-to-back two-out singles.
The Royals scored an unearned run in the fourth inning to break up the shutout, and then took advantage of six walks and a hit batter in fifth inning, plating four more in that frame.
After the fifth inning, the Mountaineers bullpen finished strong. Trey Tujetsch struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings, while Skylar Brooks and Jake Beaty each delivered a scoreless frame in their first App State appearances.
At the plate, App State finished with 11 hits, with five Mountaineers enjoying two-hit games.
The Mountaineers are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to High Point to face the Panthers. First pitch from Willard Stadium is set for 4 p.m. High Point is also 3-0 on the season, following a three-game sweep against Bryant to open the year.