Appalachian State tops Oklahoma
Mountaineers win first NCAA tournament game in 39 years
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Ryan Arrowood pitched 6.1 hitless baseball to pace Appalachian State (40-16) to a 5-4 win against the Oklahoma on Saturday evening, in front of 2,804 fans at Davenport Field in Game No. 2 of the Charlottesville NCAA Baseball Regional. The victory gives Appalachian State its 40th win of the season, marking only the second time in program history the Mountaineers have reached the 40-win plateau, also reaching it the last time they made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1986.
The win for Appalachian State is the first for the program in the NCAA tournament since beating NC State in 10 innings, 4-3, back on May 26, 1973.
After both teams held each other scoreless and hitless through two innings, Appalachian State broke through with two runs in the visitor’s half of the third inning. Trey Holmes doubled to right-center field to start the inning off and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Preston Troutman. Holmes came around to score on the single up the middle by Noah Holmes. After Hector Crespo struck out swinging, Holmes advanced to second when Tyler Zupcic singled to center field. Will Callaway topped a ball into the grass in front of home plate and Holmes came around to score when Oklahoma pitcher Jordan John threw the ball up the first base line for an error. More damage was adverted on the play when Cody Reine fired a bullet from shallow right field foul territory to catcher Tanner Toal to nail Zupcic at home trying to score, ending the threat.
The game remained scoreless for the next four innings as Appalachian State stranded only four runners and Oklahoma remained hitless until the bottom of the seventh. Appalachian State added another run in the top of the eighth inning to extend its lead to 3-0. Zupcic walked on a full count to start the frame and advanced to second on the second error by John when his pickoff attempt sailed wide up the line. Callaway advanced Zupcic to third when he grounded out to the second baseman. Daniel Kassouf drove the run home on his sacrifice fly to deep righ-center field.
Oklahoma finally dented the scoreboard with a run in the home half of the eighth inning, cutting its deficit back to two runs, 3-1. After Arrowood struck out Toal to lead off the inning and induced Erik Ross to ground out to third, the Appalachian State starter yielded back-to-back walks to Cody Reine and Max White. Evan Mistich chased Arrowood from the game when he singled to left field to score Reine. It was only Oklahoma’s second hit of the game. Appalachian State went to the bullpen and brought in Nathan Hyatt, who retired the following hitter when Jack Mayfield flew out to right field on a diving play by Appalachian State’s Tyler Tewell.
The Mountaineers added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to give Appalachian State a 5-1 advantage. Jeremy Dowdy lined a double down the right field line and then advanced to third when Reine committed an error when he couldn’t field the ball cleanly in the right field corner. Oklahoma then inserted Jake Fisher into the game and immediately gave up a double to Trey Holmes, plating Dowdy. Holmes moved to third when Preston Troutman grounded out to first. Trey Holmes scored on the sacrifice fly when Noah Holmes roped a ball to center field and was robbed by the outstanding dive by White, the Oklahoma centerfielder.
Oklahoma made a sprint to the finish scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on zero hits. Hyatt walked Bushyhead to start things off in the game’s final frame. Matt Oberste followed with a walk and then Hyatt loaded the bases when he hit Garrett Carey with a pitch. Hyatt then balked in a run and was promptly replaced by Ryne Frankoff. Pinch hitter Chase Simpson grounded out to second, but drove in Oberste for Oklahoma’s second run of the inning, advancing Carey to third. Carey then scored on a wild pitch by Frankoff. After Ross struck out, Reine walked and advanced to second on the second wild pitch by Frankoff. The threat was nullified when Frankoff forced White to fly out to right field to end the game.
Appalachian State was led by its 7-8-9 hitters, going a combined 7-for-10 with three RBI, while the remainder of the team was just 3-for-23. Trey Holmes led all hitters going 3-for-4, while Troutman and Noah Holmes each collected two hits in three at bats.
Arrowood picks up the win, improving to 11-0, while Frankoff recorded his first save of the season. Arrowood struck out nine hitters in 7.2 innings of work, an outing second only to when he struck out 10 at LSU on Feb. 25.
John was credited for the loss for Oklahoma and falls to 8-7. Bushyhead and Mistich managed the Sooners’ only hits.