CHARLESTON, SC - Despite hitting six home runs, including three by Joe Jackson, The Citadel found itself on the wrong end of a doubleheader against Davidson, falling to the Wildcats by scores of 6-4 and 12-8 on Saturday at Riley Park.
The pair of losses, which came one day after a 22-7 victory in the opening game of the series, drops the Bulldogs to 28-21 and 15-9 in the Southern Conference. The Citadel had won nine of its previous 10 league games before the surprising sweep by Davidson (15-30, 10-17).
The Wildcats entered the game having won only one road game all season before posting 23 hits including three homers of their own in the two contests. Davidson has won five of its past nine games at Riley Park and took the season series for the second time in the past three years.
Jackson homered twice in the first game and added another in the nightcap to give him 11 on the year after entering the 2013 campaign with only one round tripper his first two seasons. The junior catcher went 8-for-13 with seven runs scored and nine RBI in the series, raising his team-leading total to 50 in the latter category. He has homered in seven consecutive SoCon series.
Calvin Orth also homered in the first game and had two hits in both contests to run his hitting streak to a career-best 13, the longest for a Bulldog this season. Drew DeKerlegand had a grand slam and set a career high with five RBI, and Johnathan Stokes contributed a solo shot in the second game. Hughston Armstrong went 0-for-4 in the opener to see his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
Andrew Barna had three hits including a double and homer in the first game and a single and triple in the nightcap to hit for the cycle during the twinbill for the Wildcats.
The Bulldogs do not play during the week and return to action when they wrap up their home schedule with a series against rival College of Charleston. The first game is Friday at 4 p.m. and is the first of three Riley Park doubleheaders over the weekend with the Charleston RiverDogs also in action at home.
Barna doubled and scored on a base hit by Nathan Becker to snap a 3-3 tie in the seventh and send Davidson on its way to the win. Barna and Ryan Lowe added RBI singles in the eighth to boost the margin to 6-3 before the Wildcats survived a ninth-inning threat by The Citadel.
Jackson and Barna traded solo homers in the opening two innings, and Michael Zeblo gave Davidson a 3-2 lead when he went deep with a runner on in the third. Orth continued his offensive splurge with a homer to straightaway center, his seventh of the year, to tie it in the fourth.
The first baseman had a career-high five hits including two doubles and a triple on Friday and is batting .444 (28-for-63) over his last 15 games.
Bulldog starter Logan Cribb retired 11 straight Wildcats after the Zeblo homer before Barna doubled in the seventh. Cribb (3-3), worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and four runs (three earned), tied his career high with eight strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Danny Mooney (5-4) also went 6 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and three runs with five strikeouts. Matt Saeta gave up the ninth inning run before escaping with his second save of the year.
Andrew Pope, inserted into the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh, robbed pinch hitter Connor Walsh of extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall in center with two on in the eighth and then hit a two-run homer the following inning to put the finishing touches on the Davidson sweep.
The Wildcats led by as many as seven runs when they scored four times in the sixth including a two-run double by Forrest Brandt to build a 9-2 margin. The Bulldogs got one back in their half of the inning on an RBI double by Jackson and made it 10-7 in the eighth when DeKerlegand hit his fourth home run of the year and first career grand slam.
The inning continued with singles by Orth and Bailey Rush before Walsh pinch hit for Smith. The left-handed batter, making just his fifth plate appearance of the season, hit a long drive to center that would have driven in both runners and put the tie run in scoring position. But Pope timed his jump perfectly and hauled in the long drive to keep it a three-run game.
Pope then reached Bulldog closer Skylar Hunter for a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 12-7. DeKerlegand singled in a run, and the Bulldogs had two on with two out when Saeta was able to slam the door shut.
Davidson led 4-0 after 3 1/2 with starter Rob Bain holding The Citadel without a base runner for the first three innings. Mason Davis singled to lead off the fourth but was picked off, costing the Bulldogs a run when Jackson homered two batters later. The teams traded runs in the fifth with Davidson scoring on a triple by Barna and a single by Sam Foy, and the Bulldogs answering on the Stokes' home run.
Stokes hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the series to give him 45 RBI on the year, second on the team only to Jackson.