LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- For a fifth straight game the Covenant baseball team recorded double-digit hits and the hot-hitting was combined with a solid start from Matt Reitz as the Scots took a 7-4 win at Berea in game one of a USA South series on Friday afternoon.
Covenant (5-7, 3-1 USA South) will complete the weekend series with Berea (2-9, 0-4 USA South) with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
Joel Johnson was a home run short of the cycle as he went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, and an RBI to lead the offense. The Scots have recorded at least 10 hits in each of the past five games, going 3-2 in those contests. Caleb Bloye and Jonah Carignan each went 2-for-4 in the win on Friday.
The hits and runs were all in support of starter Reitz, who threw a season-high seven innings in the victory. Reitz (2-1) allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out three on the day to collect his second victory of the year. Jackson Heuer came on in relief and tossed the final two innings to preserve the win.
Covenant got on the board with a run in the second inning. After a two-out walk to Daniel Johnson, Carignan lifted a high pop-up towards first base but the sun played a factor and the Berea infield could not make a play as Johnson raced around to score and Carignan ended up at second with an infield double.
In the third inning, a more traditional approach to scoring runs allowed the Scots to grab a 3-0 lead. Bloye led off with a walk and CJ Edmond laced a one-out double to put runners at second and third. With two away, Donny Lewis came through with a two-run single to left field that brought home both Bloye and Edmond.
Berea scored twice in the fourth, but Covenant answered in the fifth when Edmond produced an RBI ground out that plated Bloye. The Scots then broke open the game in the sixth with three runs on four hits. Carignan doubled home Daniel Johnson and later scored on a Trenton Nobles RBI single. Covenant struck again with two outs in the frame as Joel Johnson doubled to right field to score Nobles and make it 7-2.
Berea took advantage of two Covenant errors in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-3, but Reitz worked out of the jam by striking out Caleb Gupton with the bases loaded.
Griffen Norris (1-2) got the loss for Berea as he went five innings and six runs on eight hits. Nathaniel Sumney, Josh Wilson, and Andrew Akins had two hits apiece for the host Mountaineers.
Covenant and Berea will conclude their series on Saturday with a doubleheader. Game one is set for 1 p.m.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here