March 17, 2012

Six-Run Second Inning Sinks Bulldogs 9-4

Boone, N.C. – Appalachian State used a six-run second inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and clinched the Southern Conference weekend series with 9-4 victory over The Citadel Saturday afternoon at Smith Stadium. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 8-10 overall, 1-4 in the SoCon and the two teams will wrap up the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Mason Davis led off the first inning with his first career home run, crushing a 1-2 pitch from Appalachian starter Seth Grant over the wall in right for a 1-0 lead. Joe Jackson followed with a base on balls and stole second. Back-to-back walks to Nick Orvin and Justin Mackert loaded the bases for Bo Thompson, who knocked a sacrifice fly to left to plate Jackson for a 2-0 lead.

Appalachian (16-3, 5-0) took ahold of the ballgame in the second inning, using a wild pitch by Bulldog starter Bryce Hines on a strikeout that would have ended the frame to extend the action and eventually score four more runs and take a 6-2 lead. Daniel Kassouf led off the second with a solo homer to right to cut the Citadel's lead in half. Tyler Tewell singled to left and Jeremy Dowdy grounded out to short, but the slow roller allowed Tewell to reach second without a double play attempt. A passed ball by Grant Richards advanced Tewell to third and after Noah Holmes walked, a sacrifice fly by Preston Troutman plated Tewell and knotted the game at 2-2 with two outs.

Trey Holmes stepped in for Appalachian and Hines struck him out swinging, but the third strike was low, skipping away from Richards and allowing Holmes to reach first on the wild pitch and giving the Mountaineers a new life. Appalachian took full advantage of the Bulldogs' misfortune, scoring four more runs for a 6-2 lead. Crespo immediately knocked a RBI double to left and Tyler Zupcic drilled a two-run single through the left side, while Will Callaway lined a RBI single to center before he was caught stealing to end the frame.

The two clubs traded runs in the third inning to make the score 7-3, a third of the way through the game. Jackson doubled down the left-field line and moved to third on a wild pitch, scoring on a RBI single by Mackert. Appalachian scored on a RBI double by Troutman to keep pace with the Bulldogs.

The Mountaineers scored two runs in the fifth on Kassouf's second solo round-tripper of the game and a RBI ground out by Noah Holmes to take a 9-3 lead. The Bulldogs added a single run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Drew DeKerlegand that plated Mackert, who reached on a double to left center.

Hines (0-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing seven runs on eight hits in 2-2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks. TJ Clarkson tossed four innings of solid relief, giving up two runs on four hits in four innings to close the game for the Citadel bullpen. Jackson and Mackert had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs, who only managed five hits in the game.

Grant improved to 3-1 with the win for Appalachian, scattering the five hits over six innings and allowing four runs. The right-hander walked four and struck out three. Kassouf led the Mountaineers with three hits, including the two home runs.

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