Citadel takes series over App State
Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel spotted Appalachian State an early two-run lead before scoring five times in a two-inning stretch to defeat the Mountaineers 5-3, extending its winning streak to a season-high six games including five in a row in the Southern Conference.
The Bulldogs improved to 23-17 overall and 11-6 in the SoCon. The overall and conference winning streaks are the longest since running off 13 straight including seven in league play near the end of the 2010 season.
Appalachian State dropped to 21-14 and 10-9 in the SoCon. The Mountaineers have lost nine in a row at Riley Park and have not won a series against the Bulldogs in Charleston since 1973.
The Citadel will go for the sweep on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Freshman right hander Austin Mason, coming off eight innings against Georgia Southern in which he did not allow an earned run, is the probable starter for the Bulldogs against Mountaineer sophomore southpaw Jeffrey Springs.
Will Callaway homered in the first and Hector Crespo added an RBI double in the second before The Citadel began its rally against Mountaineer starter Sam Agnew-Wieland. Brett Bullard doubled to lead off the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hughston Armstrong to get the Bulldogs on the board.
With two outs in the inning, Joe Jackson doubled and Bo Thompson walked to put two on for Drew DeKerlegand, who lashed a triple into the alley in left center to score both runners and give The Citadel a lead it would never relinquish.
An inning later, Bret Hines and Bullard walked with one out and moved up on a ground out by Mason Davis. Armstrong came through again, driving in Hines and Bullard with a single past a diving Callaway in the hole at short to boost The Citadel margin to 5-2.
Armstrong's three RBI gives him seven in the last three games after knocking in only nine over his first 36 games of the season. After going 0-for-4 in his first four trips to the plate, Davis singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, one shy of his career high established earlier this season.
While the Bulldogs were busy offensively, Cribb allowed only one run and two hits over his final four innings of work. Appalachian State reached him for a run in the fifth when Crespo doubled for the second time in the game and scored on a sacrifice fly by Noah Holmes.
Cribb went six innings and gave up five hits and two earned runs. He tied his season high with seven strikeouts and walked only one in raising his record to 3-2 and 2-0 since rejoining the starting weekend rotation three weeks ago.
Agnew-Wieland, a two-time SoCon Pitcher of the Week this season, surrendered six hits and all five runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struggled with his control, walking seven batters while striking out three in falling to 5-3.
Kevin Connell got the first two outs in the seventh for The Citadel, and David Rivera worked 1 1/3 perfect innings. Skylar Hunter walked a batter and gave up a two-out single to put the tie runs on base in the ninth before getting Preston Troutman to fly out to center to wrap up his 10th save of the year and second in as many days against the Mountaineers.