BOONE, N.C. — Matt Andress tied Appalachian State University's career wins record and became the program's all-time strikeouts leader in the Mountaineers' 10-5 victory over Wake Forest on Wednesday at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
Andress allowed just one earned run over three innings to earn the 25th victory of his career, moving him into a tie with Kevin Simmons (1983-86) atop Appalachian's all-time wins list. Andress picked up the win in just three innings because the Mountaineers came into the game with a prearranged "split start," which allowed most of the staff's primary weekend pitchers to get work heading into a six-day break due to final exams.
In addition to tying the school's all-time wins record, Andress broke the program's career strikeouts record by fanning Wake Forest's Pat Blair to lead off the game. The right-handed senior finished with five strikeouts in his three innings of work, giving him 227 for his career and surpassing the 222 racked by Simmons in the mid-80s.
Despite Andress' record-breaking performance, offense was the story of the day for Appalachian (31-8-1). ASU scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and banged out 12 hits to overcome a season high-tying four errors in the win.
Thanks in large part to the three-run first, the Mountaineers led 6-2 after three innings. However, Wake Forest (12-32) chipped away at the lead and cut it to 6-5 with runners on second and third and no outs in the top of the fifth.
Faced with the two-runners-in-scoring-position, nobody-out jam, freshman Nathan Hyatt got perhaps the three biggest outs of the afternoon for ASU when he induced a shallow fly ball, a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat and maintain the Apps' one-run lead.
From there, it was all Appalachian, as the Mountaineers tacked on four more runs over their next three at-bats to stretch the advantage to 10-5 going into the eighth. That would be more than enough for ASU closer Chris Patterson, who surrendered just one hit over the final two innings to seal the triumph. However, it was not a save situation for Patterson and the right-hander remained tied with Virginia's Kevin Arico for the nation's saves lead with 13.
Jerod Faggart and Jeremy Dowdy led the Mountaineers' 12-hit attack by recording three hits apiece and combining to drive in five of the club's 10 runs (Dowdy with three RBI, Faggart with two). They both homered, with Dowdy launching a two-run blast to left field in the third inning and Faggart skimming a solo shot inside the left field foul pole in the fifth for his team high-tying 11th home run of the season. Tyler Zupcic also had three hits for the Mountaineers and Wes Hobson extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single.
Blair went 4-for-5 with an RBI to lead the Demon Deacons.
After losing 17-straight games to Wake Forest from 1997-2006, Appalachian beat the Demon Deacons for the fourth time in the teams' last seven meetings. With the win, ASU also moved to 20-0 in non-conference games this season and remained the nation's only NCAA Division I club with an undefeated record versus non-conference competition.
Following the week-long break for finals, Appalachian returns to action next Wednesday (May 5) at home versus Gardner-Webb. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Smith Stadium.