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App State baseball drops final game of series with Davidson

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Appalachian State baseball (16-26) could not outlast the strong hitting of conference leader Davidson (25-12) as they fell 15-9 Sunday in the finale of a three-game weekend series.

The series saw the Mountaineers win the first game 14-6 Friday, but drop the second game 0-12 Saturday.

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Sophomore center fielder Jaylin Davis hits a UNCG pitch earlier this season. Photo by Corey Spiers | The Appalachian

The Wildcats connected early against junior left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs, scoring eight runs in his first two innings of work in the final game of the series.

In the first inning, sophomore Wildcats second baseman Andrew Pope connected on a base hit to get things started, followed by junior first baseman David Daniels, who smashed a single up the middle. Center fielder Forrest Brandt blasted a three-run home run over the center field wall to make it 3-0 Davidson.

The bats stayed hot for the Wildcats in the top of the second as Brandt notched his second home run of the day, and senior catcher Daniel Gerow added another home run to left field to give Davidson a commanding 8-0 lead.

“I didn’t anticipate us to be down [8-0] after two innings with Springs pitching,” head coach Billy Jones said. “[Davidson] just did a good job hitting him, and we couldn’t get it stopped.”

App State responded in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore shortstop Dillon Dobson led off the inning by launching his team-leading eighth home run of the season into left field. Dobson’s solo home run was his third long ball of the series.

“I think it was a fastball,” Dobson said. “I just went up there swinging, and I guess I got enough of it.”

The inning continued with the Mountaineers bringing in four more runs off of three hits and three walks to cut the Davidson lead to 8-5. Junior third baseman Michael Pierson continued the big inning with a huge shot to right field which was good for a double and two runs were brought in.

The Wildcats were forced to bring in junior pitcher Clark Beeker in relief as a result of the five run outburst.

But Davidson pulled away as they pounded in seven more runs as the game progressed to make the score 12-5 coming into the sixth inning of play. Sophomore left fielder Lee Miller connected on a pitch to blast the Wildcats’ fourth home run of the day and bring in three runs to give the Wildcats a 10-run advantage at 15-5.

The Mountaineers attempted a rally when Pierson hit his sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh to bring in a run. In the bottom of the eighth inning, three more runs scored for App State but that was all the Mountaineers could muster.

App State falls to 16-26 overall on the season and 9-8 in Southern Conference play, which puts them in sixth place.

The first-place Wildcats improve to 25-12 for the season and 15-4 in SoCon play. The Mountaineers will host Wake Forest Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

“Offensively I think we are OK,“ Jones said. “Defensively we need to improve a little.”

 

Story: Bryant Barbery, Intern Sports Reporter

Photo: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor

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