Luke Drumheller chained a two-run brace in the corner of left field, with two outs in the top of the 14th inning, to break a 2-2 tie and help App State to a 5-3 victory over Little Rock on Friday, to claim the opening game of the series.
Andrew Greckel opened the 14th frame for the Mountaineers (8-12, 2-2) with a single to center field, and two batters later Jacob Whitley hit from the right side to put the runners up first and second.
After Little Rocked dove into their bullpen, Andrew Terrell anchored himself in picking a defenseman, putting runners in the corners with two outs. It was then that Drumheller stepped up to the plate and ripped the second pitch of the stick in the opposite direction, to put the Mountaineers back in front. Alex Aguila followed with a left single to score Drumheller and push the lead to 5-3.
App State held a 2-1 lead with two out in the ninth, when Little Rock (10-9, 0-4) shortstop Jorden Hussein forced overtime with an RBI single to center field.
The Mountaineers hit first in the baseball game, when RJ Johnson hit his first college home run, a solo shot to right field, with one out in the third inning. After Little Rock responded with a run in the bottom half of the frame to level the score at 1-1, Greckel started the fourth inning with his own solo shot to push App State ahead, 2-1.
The Mountaineer’s pitching team worked in and out of trouble throughout the night. Tyler Tuthill allowed just one run in 5.2 innings, striking out four, despite eight hits and three walks.
Tuthill escaped a goal-laden traffic jam in the third inning, allowing just one run, and after his outing in the sixth, Cameron Kepley wriggled out of a goal-laden situation to keep the lead intact. Cameron Carter struck out three in 1.1 innings in relief, before Eli Ellington forced extra innings, and eventually worked 3.1 scoreless in relief, striking out three.
Gray LaSpaluto picked up the win for App State, tossing two scoreless shots in relief and striking out three. The Mountaineer’s throw blocked 19 runners on base in the ball game and kept the Trojans at 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.