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Wildcats’ Tests Continue With ‘Baseball at the Beach’

by | Mar 4, 2021

Coach Rucker Taylor


Davidson’s early-season tests on the diamond will continue this weekend with three games at Coastal Carolina’s Baseball at the Beach event, hosted by the 2016 national champions in Conway, S.C.

The Wildcats (4-3) will open play Friday at 4:30 p.m. against the host Chanticleers, then play UConn and Miami (Ohio) in 10:30 a.m. contests Saturday and Sunday.

It’s the latest in a series of non-conference measuring sticks, and head coach Rucker Taylor said it’s “probably the most challenging schedule we’ve had in a while.”

“We’ve played well at times and have learned a lot about our club early on,” he said. “This weekend will be another great learning opportunity and a challenge for us to play three highly thought-of teams away from home. Each team is the favorite to win their conference, or be at the top. A couple are viewed as possible Omaha types. I think our program is looking forward to this, and we hope to keep playing in high-level events like the one Coastal is putting on.”

Davidson hasn’t played Coastal since taking two of three games in a 1992 series. The Wildcats haven’t faced UConn since 1987 and last saw Miami (Ohio) in 2014.

Baseball at the Beach Schedule
12 p.m. – Miami (Ohio) vs. UConn
4:30 p.m. – Davidson vs. Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)
10:30 a.m. – UConn vs. Davidson
3 p.m. – Miami (Ohio) vs. Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)
10:30 a.m. – Davidson vs. Miami (Ohio)
3 p.m. – UConn vs. Coastal Carolina (ESPN)
12 p.m. – UConn vs. Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)

Last time out
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-3 loss at No. 25 Duke on Tuesday, in which they were unable to hold an early lead against the Blue Devils.

John Hosmer had a sacrifice fly to center in the second inning, and Ryan Wilson scored on a wild pitch in the third before Alex Fedje-Johnson’s RBI-single made it 3-2, but the Blue Devils responded quickly with a four-run third inning, including back-to-back home runs from Peter Matt and RJ Schreck.

Prior to that, the Wildcats completed a weekend series sweep of Toledo, scoring 36 runs and hitting nine home runs, including Trevor Candelaria’s walk-off two-run shot in the 11th inning Sunday. It was Davidson’s fifth homer of the day and fourth in as many innings.

Hosmer entered the weekend with no career home runs, but he hit one in each game. Designated hitter Ruben Fontes, the A-10 home run leader in 2019, went deep twice over the weekend, and freshmen Wilson and Joe Haney hit their first career bombs.

Candelaria, Levy sweep A-10 honors
Candelaria, the junior right fielder, was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the first time on Monday, the same day junior right-hander Gabe Levy was named A-10 Pitcher of the Week.

Candelaria now leads the team with a .381 average, a .857 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .519. He’s also the team leader with four doubles and 18 total bases and has homered twice and driven in six.

Levy was honored after delivering a 5.2-inning, seven-strikeout performance in the opener against Toledo. In nine innings of work so far this spring, he is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a save. He’s struck out 11, walked none and allowed five hits and one earned run. He entered the Feb. 20 season opener against Morehead State in the sixth inning and finished the final 3.1 innings, striking out four and allowing one hit.

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