Appalachian State University baseball scored nine runs on 11 hits but was never able to fully climb out of an early 8-0 hole in its 15-9 loss to Davidson on Sunday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
With the defeat, Appalachian State (16-26, 9-8 SoCon) dropped its three-game Southern Conference series to first-place Davidson (25-12, 15-4 SoCon), two games to one.
Buoyed Forrest Brandts three-run homer in the first inning and solo blast in the second, Davidson plated three runs in the opening frame and five more in the second to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
Appalachian State batted around in the bottom of the second inning and scored five runs to cut the deficit to 8-5. However, the Wildcats responded with a run in the top of the third then added three in the fourth and three in the sixth to extend their advantage to 15-5.
The Mountaineers scored a run in the seventh and three in the eighth to account for the final margin.
Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) and Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) both went 3-for-4 to lead Appalachians 11-hit attack. Pierson doubled twice, homered and drove in four runs while Dobson hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season.
Six different players had multiple hits for Davidson, led by Brandt, who finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored to go along with his two homers and four RBI. As a team, the Wildcats banged out 16 hits on Sunday, giving them 27 runs and 34 hits over the final two games of the weekend series.
In a game where neither starting pitcher lasted more than three innings, Davidson reliever Clark Beeker (3-2) limited App State to one run on four hits while striking out eight over 5.1 innings to earn the win. Appalachian starter Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) allowed nine runs in three innings to suffer the loss and fall to 2-3 on the campaign.
Appalachian State closes a five-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts longtime local rival Wake Forest. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Smith Stadium.
NOTES: Pierson and Dobson both had impressive weekends at the plate, with Pierson hitting .538 (7-for-13) with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and four runs scored and Dobson batting .417 (5-for-12) with three homers, five RBI and three runs scored ... Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) also had a strong offensive series, hitting .455 (5-for-11) and scoring four runs ... with seniors William Head (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) and Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) getting days off, Troutman started at shortstop on Sunday, marking the first time in 194 collegiate games that the senior has started in the infield ... Appalachian State lost a series to Davidson for the first time since the Wildcats swept three games from the Mountaineers in 2005.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Pierson, App State Athletics