clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Opponent Preview: Appalachian State

New, 76 comments

Meet the Mountaineers... Our cousins from the hills

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 21 New Orleans Bowl - Appalachian State v UAB Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Appalachian State

Mascot: Oddly Named Mountain Man | School Location: Boone, NC | Conference: Fun Belt

2021 Record: 11-12 (4-2, 2nd East) | 2021 RPI Rank: 123

2020 Record: 10-6 (0-0, T-1st East) | 2020 RPI Rank: 62

2019 Record: 22-31 (13-16, 5th East) | 2019 RPI Rank: 189


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Tuesday, Apr 6 @ 6:00pm

TV: ACC Network Extra

Radio: TuneIn App, GoPack (Tuesday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

Appalachian State is not a traditional baseball power in any sense, but Kermit Smith has the program heading back in the right direction. Aside from current Duke head coach Chris Pollard’s run in Boone from 2005-2012, the Mountaineers have had just one winning season this century - which happened to come the season after Pollard left for Duke, leaving behind a roster that featured two players who appeared at the MLB level in 2020.

This year’s App State squad has a chance to make some noise in the Sun Belt. They’re not likely to win their division, but the roster is solid enough that they should compete for an above-.500 conference record and a top three finish in their division.

App State has Johnny Wholestaff’d all their midweek games up to this point in the year, so with their series this past weekend at Coastal Carolina being postponed, it should be expected that App State runs out both of their established weekend starters to get each some work. Finding success through the remainder of the season will require App to find a viable and consistent 3rd weekend starter, a few more bullpen arms to step up, and more consistent run production from the offense.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Tuesday: LHP Quinton Martinez (SR)


Key Players:

Offense

2B Luke Drumheller (JR) - .326/.419/.472, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 16 R, 20 RBI, 8 BB, 29 K, 7 HBP, 3-4 SB. Freshman All-American in 2019 with a career .329/.400/.472 slash line. Has hits in 8 of last 9 games. Only hole in his offensive game is patience.

1B Robbie Young (SR) - .304/.421/.481, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 16 R, 12 RBI, 12 BB, 11 K, 5-6 SB. Former JUCO transfer who started his career at the DIII level (Maryville College). The bat has finally come alive in his 3rd year with the program. Four multi-hit games in his last eight.

SS Bailey Welch (SR) - .284/.419/.388, 3 2B, 2 3B, 17 R, 10 RBI, 15 BB, 8 K, 3-3 SB. Undersized infielder who has settled in as the team’s SS this year after previous starting assignments at 2B and 3B. Having his best both offensively and defensively.

CF Alex Leshock (SR) - .273/.392/.288, 1 2B, 12 R, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 15 K, 7 HBP, 5-5 SB. Slap-hitter despite decent size. His OBP is buoyed by his willingness to wear pitches (19 career HBP).

Pitching

LHP Quinton Martinez (SR) - 3-3, 4.25 ERA, 36.0 IP, 35 H, 9 BB, 25 K. Former JUCO transfer is the Saturday starter for the Mountaineers. With the App State series at Coastal Carolina getting postponed this past weekend, Martinez will start against State today. Contact pitcher who has allowed 7 HR in 36.0 IP this year.

LHP Tyler Tuthill (JR) - 2-3, 4.04 ERA, 35.2 IP, 20 H, 17 BB, 23 K. Three-year starter with 24 career starts to his credit. Friday night guy this year. Control can be an issue (17 BB, 8 HBP, 6 WP in 35.2 IP this year).

RHP Noah Hall (SO) - 4-0, 2 SV, 2.40 ERA, 30.0 IP, 22 H, 11 BB, 34 K. Top reliever who moved to the Sunday starter gig for App’s last two weekend series, turning in winning performances in each. Was a Freshman All-American last year as a reliever.

LHP Eli Ellington (rJR) - 0-0, 2 SV, 3.43 ERA, 21.0 IP, 13 H, 9 BB, 26 K. JUCO transfer in his first year in Boone. Pitching outstanding thus far and with Hall’s move to the rotation, is now the top bullpen arm for the Mountaineers.


Quick! Fun Facts!

NC State leads the all-time series between the two schools, 13-3.

The Wolfpack have won the last four games in the series, but three of those four were decided by two runs or less.

Surprisingly, App State has just two players from the Triangle area: Ben Peterson, a freshman pitcher from Apex HS, and Andrew Papp, a senior pitcher from Leesville Road HS. Papp is a former NC State commit who started his career at Clemson before transferring to App.

The Mountaineers roster also features former NC State pitcher Cole Hooper, who made two appearances for the 2018 Wolfpack squad.


Prediction

State is likely to see App State’s four best arms in this one, which is odd for a midweek game. That should keep this a low-scoring affair with the Pack tossing Chris Villaman.

Outcome: The Pack scratch out a close win, 5-3.