Created on Monday, 27 February 2012 21:02
|Junior infielder Hector Crespo and junior catcher Seth Grant step off the bus, returning from a victory at No. 7 LSU, in front of Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium Monday night. Erin Morton | The Appalachian |
In a stunning upset, the Appalachian State baseball team won two games out of three against the No. 7 ranked LSU Tigers this weekend.
The Mountaineers outscored the Tigers 12-5 in the series, marking the first time in program history Appalachian has won a three-game series over a Bowl Championship Subdivison team.
The series started rough for ASU, with a 4-0 loss for the Mountaineers.
LSU’s Kevin Gausman, one of the top prospects in America according to Baseball America, lived up to the hype. Gausman and Aaron Nola combined to strike out 11 Mountaineers.
“I felt like we obviously pitched well the entire weekend. We got three really good starts and we played good defense all weekend,” head coach Chris Pollard said. “We didn’t swing it at all Friday night, their Friday night starter was really good.”
ASU senior Seth Grant allowed all four runs, including an early Ty Ross RBI single.
On Saturday, senior Ryan Arrowood dominated LSU, striking out 10 Tigers in seven scoreless innings. Arrowood displayed excellent control, holding LSU to just two hits and one walk, as Appalachian became the first non-conference team to shut out LSU in eight years.
Daniel Kassouf’s line-drive home run in the fourth inning proved to be the only run of the game, eventually giving ASU the win.
“We came out yesterday and we just really competed well. Arrowood threw a great ball game,” said Coach Pollard. “We got the one run from Kassouf and we just kept holding on and they did a great job at the end and our guys just gained a ton of confidence from it."
On Sunday, the Mountaineers put together an unbelievable performance once again, scoring a staggering 11 runs on the Tigers and handing LSU its second loss of the season. ASU won 11-1.
Junior Rob Marcello pitched 8 1/3 innings and struck out four.
When Marcello walked the second batter in the ninth inning, Coach Pollard elected to take him out. As the pitcher walked off the field, he received a standing ovation from the LSU crowd.
“I was definitely proud, the offense definitely helped do that,” Marcello said. “Putting up that many runs definitely made it easy for me to go through it and then just having the crowd react that way was amazing it’s an amazing feeling.”
Designator hitter Daniel Kassouf led the team with three hits, one being a double, while senior player Will Callaway and junior player Ty Zupcic both had three RBIs.
“We didn’t put pressure on ourselves-we just went out and played and had fun,” Kassouf said.
The series marked the first time Appalachian has won a series against a nationally-ranked team since 1983, when the Mountaineers took down the No. 23 Citadel Bulldogs.
The team will end its preseason series Tuesday against North Carolina A&T and opens its home schedule March 2 against Rider College.Story: LAUREN OSBORNE, Intern Sports Reporter
Photo: ERIN MORTON, Intern Photographer