Spring Recaps: Baseball

Spring Recaps: Baseball

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LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team had its ups and downs over the course of the 2017 season. The Scots finished the year 14-24 overall, but accumulated wins over No. 1-ranked Emory and had walk-off wins against Methodist and Berea.

Head coach Doug Simons, in his 11th year at the helm of the program, recorded his 200th career coaching victory when the Scots defeated William Peace 3-2 on March 24 in Cary, N.C. Simons will enter 2018 with 205 career wins.

Individually, several Scots stood out during the year. Covenant placed three on All-USA South teams as Caleb Bloye and Forrest Hunter were first team selections, while Luke Harvey was a second team choice. Bloye also earned all-region honors from both D3baseball.com (third team) and the American Baseball Coaches Association (second team). 

There were several top moments throughout the season. Bloye hit a walk-off solo homer in a 3-2, extra-inning, victory over Berea on Feb. 17, and Alex Kerr capped a memorable Senior Day with a three-run walk-off homer against Methodist on April 22. Covenant also turned the program's first triple play as the Scots accomplished the feat on March 4 against Maryville. Joel Johnson had a 15-game hitting streak in the middle of the season, the longest streak for a Covenant player in four years. For a fourth straight year, Covenant was the USA South Team Sportsmanship Award recipient for the sport.

GAME(s) OF THE YEAR:

With all of those top moments mentioned above, one such day stands out from the rest. On March 18, Covenant entered a doubleheader with the No. 1-ranked team in the country, Emory, with a 6-13 overall record.

The records didn't matter on this day, though, as Covenant swept the doubleheader from the visiting Eagles with a 12-10 victory in game one followed by an 8-2 triumph in the finale. 

In the first game, Covenant's bats were hot from the start as the Scots took a 7-0 lead through three innings and then held on late for the win. Johnson, Kerr and Trenton Nobles all homered in the game and Covenant had 12 hits in the contest. Johnson had three RBIs, while Kerr and Julien Amorelli had two apiece in the win.

In the second game, Covenant got it going offensively in the late innings. Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, the Scots would score eight runs over the next three innings to take the 8-2 win in seven innings. Kerr had his second home run of the day and the Scots produced five extra-base hits, out of nine total hits.

The wins marked the highest-ranked team any Covenant program has beaten in the NCAA era. The Scots have also won three straight home games against Emory, who again advanced to the NCAA Tournament later in the year.

Recap and Photos from March 18

HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR:

On March 4, Covenant achieved a baseball rarity: a triple play. The Scots turned the program's first triple play in the seventh inning against Maryville. Watch the highlight below:

TOP PERFORMERS:

Avg.
- Forrest Hunter (.402 in 82 at-bats)
- Caleb Bloye (.353)
- Luke Harvey (.319)

HR
- Alex Kerr (5)
- Joel Johnson (5)
- Caleb Bloye (4)

RBI
- Joel Johnson (31)
- Alex Kerr (26)
- Caleb Bloye (25)

Steals
- Luke Harvey (19)
- Caleb Bloye (11)
- Devin Cerrato (10)

Wins
- Matt Reitz (4)
- Ross Skipper (3)
- Drew Bradley (2)
- Zach Kyzer (2)

Innings Pitched
- Matt Reitz (59.2)
- Drew Bradley (56.0)
- Zach Kyzer (50.2)

ERA
- Drew Bradley (3.38)
- Matt Reitz (3.77)

Strikeouts
- Drew Bradley (44)
- Matt Reitz (42)
- Zach Kyzer (33)

AWARD WINNERS:

All-USA South
Caleb Bloye - first team
Forrest Hunter - first team
Luke Harvey - second team

USA South All-Sportsmanship
Forrest Hunter

ABCA All-South Region
Caleb Bloye - second team

D3baseball.com All-South Region
Caleb Bloye - third team

USA South Player of the Week
Caleb Bloye - March 27

USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week
Zach Kyzer - Feb. 13

USA South Team Sportsmanship Award
Team

CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here