A pair of home runs staked Appalachian State to an early lead, and the Mountaineers held off a Citadel rally for a 10-6 victory in the rubber game of a Southern Conference series Sunday at Smith Stadium.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, Appalachian State (13-20, 7-4 SoCon) scored five times in the bottom of the frame off starter Brett Tompkins, an uprising that was capped by a three-run homer by Matt Brill.
Connor Walsh relieved Tompkins after a leadoff walk in the third and surrendered a two-run shot to Jaylin Davis that upped the Mountaineer advantage to 7-1. Appalachian State starter Jeffrey Springs was the beneficiary of the early lead, working the first six innings and allowing six hits and two runs with four strikeouts to pick up the win.
Mason Davis, Bo Thompson and Tyler Griffin singled in the fifth, with Griffin's second RBI of the game making it 7-2. The Mountaineers scored a run on an error in the sixth before the Bulldogs (14-23, 2-13) rallied for four in the sixth off reliever Taylor Thurber to get back in the game.
The Citadel banged out five hits in the frame, including RBI singles by Calvin Orth, pinch hitter Austin Mapes, Hughston Armstrong and Drew DeKerlegand, and took advantage of a pair of Mountaineer errors to make it an 8-6 contest.
Griffin got comeback started with a base hit and had three in the game. The pinch hit RBI single was Mapes' fifth of the season.
The Mountaineers quickly regained momentum with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, and the Bulldogs were unable to get any closer.
The Citadel hosts South Carolina on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the makeup of a game that was rained out in March. The Bulldogs play their next SoCon series at Western Carolina beginning on Friday at 5 p.m.