Western Carolina Takes 2 From The Citadel - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Western Carolina Takes 2 From The Citadel

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CULLOWHEE, NC -

Game 1

Dykota Spiess doubled in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, giving Western Carolina a 5-4 win over The Citadel in the completion of a game suspended on Saturday evening.

The Catamounts trailed 2-0 when the game was halted by rain in the bottom of the fourth, but rallied against Logan Cribb and Skylar Hunter to take the opener of an abbreviated two-game set.

The game was tied at 4 when Hunter relieved Cribb to start the Western half of the eighth. Pinch hitter Luke Gragg drew a one-out walk, and Spiess followed with a line drive that split Hughston Armstrong and Tyler Griffin in right center to bring the running Gragg all the way home.

The game-winning hit was particularly poignant for Spiess, who was not in the original starting lineup after his father passed away on Thursday night. He drew a walk as a pinch hitter in the fourth his dramatic moment in the eighth.

Griffin drove in both runs prior to the suspension on an RBI single in the first and a solo homer on the first pitch of the third. The round tripper was Griffin's 22nd of his career, moving him into a tie for 13th place in school history. Cribb had allowed only one hit over his first three innings.

Cribb returned to the hill when the game was resumed and gave up the tying runs in the fourth. The Bulldogs quickly retook the lead in the fifth when Armstrong was hit by a Bryan Sammons pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Sammons had taken over for Catamount ace Jeremy Null, who worked the first four innings of the game on Saturday.

Western took its first lead in the seventh with a two-out rally against Cribb. Cody Jones singled and Adam Martin homered to center to give the Catamounts a 4-3 edge. Calvin Orth briefly tied it with a solo homer, his second of the year, in the top of the eighth.

Tyler Powell finished in the ninth, retiring the Bulldogs in order, to secure his eighth save of the year. T.J. Fussell worked out of a second and third jam in the sixth and allowed only the Orth homer to pick up the win.

Game 2

Jordan Smith tossed his second complete game of the season and second of his career against The Citadel, leading Western Carolina to an 8-2 victory and a sweep of an abbreviated two-game series at Hennon Stadium.

The Catamounts (26-12, 11-3 SoCon) scored three times in the second off Bulldog starter Austin Mason and never looked back in claiming their seventh straight series win over The Citadel in Cullowhee.

Smith limited the Bulldogs (15-25, 2-15) to five hits and struck out 10 in winning for the sixth time this season and 23rd in his career. He allowed single runs in the fourth on an RBI base hit by Drew DeKerlegand and the seventh when DeKerlegand doubled and scored on a double play grounder by Bailey Rush.

DeKerlegand increased his hitting streak to nine games, the longest by a Citadel player this season, but the remainder of the lineup managed only three singles off Smith. DeKerlegand has hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games, going 29 for 78 (.372) over that stretch.

Bradley Strong doubled in two runs in the second and Western added a third tally on an error. The Catamounts put up a run in the third and used two walks and a pair of hits to score twice more in the fourth and end Mason's day.

The sophomore right hander worked 3.1 innings and allowed seven hits and six runs (five earned) in taking the loss. The Catamounts concluded their offensive output with two runs against reliever Zach Sherrill in the fifth.

Ross White threw two scoreless innings, and Paul Joseph Krouse set down the Catamounts in order in the ninth, including a strikeout.

The Bulldogs return to Riley Park for a seven-game homestand beginning with a rematch against Winthrop on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Citadel won the earlier meeting 3-2 in Rock Hill on March 19.

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