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HomeCollegeMountaineers strand 11, lose to Troy, 6-5, in Sun Belt opener

Mountaineers strand 11, lose to Troy, 6-5, in Sun Belt opener

By Matt Present. MONTGOMERY, Ala. — CJ Boyd set the App State career home runs record as a part of a two-homer ballgame, but the No. 6-seeded Mountaineers were unable to overcome one bad inning in a 6-5 loss to No. 3 Troy in the Sun Belt Conference tournament on May 22, at Riverwalk Stadium.

Boyd hit his 34th and 35th career home runs, breaking a tie with Andre Crawford for most all-time at 33.

Photo courtesy of App State Athletics

Boyd’s first blast came just four batters into the contest. Banks Tolley worked a two-out walk and Boyd followed with a line drive shot over the left field fence to give App State (31-20-1) a 2-0 lead.

His second home run came in nearly identical fashion. With two outs in the third, Tolley was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for a majestic blast to left from Boyd that sailed out of the stadium.

Early on the mound, Dante Chirico was equally impressive. The righty delivered four perfect innings to begin his outing, striking out seven of the first 12 batters he faced.

Photo courtesy of App State Athletics

Troy (37-20) scored all six of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, sending 11 men to the plate in the frame. The rally began with a solo home run from Books Bryan to begin the fifth inning; the first batter that reached base in the game against Chirico.

Each of the first five reached in the frame with Shane Lewis drawing a bases loaded walk to cut the lead in half. Later in the inning, Kole Myers ripped a game-tying two-run double to center field and Ethan Kavanaugh followed with a go-ahead single to left.

Still trailing 6-4 in the eighth, App State mounted a one-out rally. Adam Quintero singled to right and after a walk to Hunter Wilder, Joseph Zamora ripped an RBI single through the right side. A dropped fly ball, on a collision in center field, off the bat of Austin St. Laurent loaded the bases, but the Mountaineers were unable to do any further damage, stranding the tying and go-ahead runners in scoring position.

Photo courtesy of App State Athletics

Collin Welch kept the Mountaineers in the ballgame with 3.2 scoreless innings in relief, striking out four, while allowing just one hit.

App State finished the game going just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 men on base.

The Mountaineers will look to stave off elimination on Thursday, when they face the loser of No. 2 Southern Miss and No. 7 Coastal Carolina at 10 a.m. ET.

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