App State rallies past The Citadel

BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State scored twice in both the fifth and seventh innings to erase a three-run deficit and defeat The Citadel in the middle game of a Southern Conference series Saturday afternoon at Smith Stadium.

The Mountaineers (12-20, 6-4 SoCon) scored twice on five hits in the first inning but were held to only two singles and no runs over the next three frames by Bulldog starter Austin Mason as The Citadel built a 5-2 lead.

Appalachian State began its rally in the fifth, taking advantage of a pair of leadoff walks and capitalizing on the opportunity when Michael Pierson knocked in both runners with a single to make it 5-4.

Ross White worked out of a jam in the sixth but issued a walk and a game-tying triple to Pierson in the seventh and was relieved by Zach McKay. McKay struck out Matt Brill before Jaylin Davis brought home Pierson with a sacrifice fly to give the Mountaineers the lead back.

Pierson had four hits and drove in four runs for Appalachian State. Drew DeKerlegand, Tyler Griffin and Calvin Orth each had two hits for The Citadel.

The Bulldogs (14-22, 2-12) were only able to get one runner on base over the final two innings when Bret Hines walked with one out in the eighth. Tyler Moore, who went the distance for the Mountaineers, induced a double-play grounder by Orth and then set down the side in order in the ninth for his seventh win of the year.

Moore allowed nine hits, walked two and struck out four in his third complete game of the year. It was the second time in as many nights a pitcher went all nine, with Logan Cribb turning the trick in an 8-2 Bulldog win in the series opener Friday.

White was charged with the loss, dropping to 1-2. Mason went the first five innings and gave up eight hits and four runs, walked three and fanned three.

The Citadel erased its early 2-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the third. After being held hitless through the first two innings, Mason Davis doubled and scored along with Hughston Armstrong on a single by DeKerlegand. An RBI single by Hines and a Mountaineer error on an apparent double-play grounder by Ryan Kilgallen gave the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

DeKerlegand doubled and scored on a single by single by Griffin in the fifth to give The Citadel a three-run cushion, but the Bulldogs were unable to break through against Moore the rest of the way.

The teams will play the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1:30 p.m.