Appalachian State (16-24, 9-6 SoCon) ran out to a 12-1 lead and never looked back on its way to pulling within two games in the loss column of Southern Conference-leading Davidson (23-12, 13-4 SoCon).
Dobson made a triumphant return to the lineup after missing the past five games with a shoulder injury. The sophomore showed no ill effects from the injury when he drove in four runs in a three-inning span that helped the Mountaineers overwhelm the Wildcats early in the ballgame.
In his first at-bat since April 16, Dobson put Appalachian on the board with a second-inning solo home run to right-center field. An inning later, he drove in his second run with a sacrifice fly to left and in the fourth, he hit a two-run homer to nearly the same spot as his first blast.
Buoyed by Dobsons outburst, App State scored two runs in the second, five in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take the commanding 12-1 advantage.
Davidson showed signs of life by scoring three times in the top of the sixth but Appalachian responded with two in the bottom of the stanza to make it 14-4. The Wildcats plated two insignificant runs in the eighth to close out the scoring.
Dobson finished 2-for-4 with a game-high four RBI and two runs scored to highlight Appalachian States potent offensive attack. All nine members of Appalachians starting lineup had at least one hit and seven recorded multiple hits. Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest), Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and Zach Hummel (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) led the way with three hits apiece while Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) finished 2-for-4 with three RBI. Pierson and Troutman scored three runs each.
Battling the elements on a chilly early-spring evening that featured 35 MPH winds with gusts near 50 MPH, starting pitcher Jamie Nunn (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) worked into the sixth inning and picked up the win to move to 4-6 on the season. Nunn surrendered just five hits in his five-plus innings but issued four walks in the blustery conditions and was charged with four runs.
Freshman Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) took over for Nunn in the sixth and worked the final four innings, allowing just two runs on two hits to earn the first save of his career.
Davidson, which came into the game with the SoCons top hitting club (.303 batting average) and the leagues third-ranked pitching staff (4.05 ERA), never got going in its first conference road loss of the season. In addition to giving up 14 runs on 20 hits, the Wildcats managed just seven hits of their own, nearly four below their season average of 10.7 hits per game.
Starting pitcher Rob Bain (3-2) lasted just 3.1 innings for the Wildcats, allowing nine runs (all earned) on a whopping 13 hits. Shortstop Sam Foy led Davidson offensively by going 3-for-4 with a double.
Appalachian State and Davidson play the second game of their pivotal three-game weekend series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Smith Stadium.
NOTES: Dobsons two home runs give him a team-leading eight on the season ... Dobsons two-homer game was his second of the season he also accomplished the feat on April 4 at Wofford ... Dobson and Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning, marking only the second time this season that Appalachian State has hit consecutive homers (Davis and Pierson went deep back-to-back on April 2 versus ETSU) ... Appalachian beat Davidson for the 10th-straight time at home ... the Mountaineers have not lost to the Wildcats in Boone since a 6-5, 12-inning defeat on May 20, 2006, which was the final game played at Appalachian States former home ballpark, Red Lackey Field ... Appalachian has won 13 of the last 14 and 21 of the last 25 games overall versus Davidson.
Photo Courtesy: Dillon Dobson, App State Athletics