NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Faced with elimination, the Covenant baseball team won twice on Friday afternoon to stay alive in the NCCAA Mid-East Region Tournament.
The Scots swiped 10 bases and got an outstanding pitching performance from freshman Jonah Paul in game one as they defeated Tennessee Temple 8-2. In game two against Union (Tenn.), the Scots scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Covenant earned its way into Saturday's play with a 6-3 win.
With the two victories, Covenant has set a new modern school record for wins in a season with 28. The previous high came back in 2011 when the Scots went 27-16.
Covenant will have a chance to add to its win total on Saturday. The Scots will face the loser of tonight's Trevecca Nazarene-Campbellsville winner's bracket game at 1 p.m. central time.
Covenant 8, Tennessee Temple 2
Jonah Paul (2-0) picked up his second win of the season as he threw seven strong innings and Covenant eliminated Tennessee Temple 8-2.
Paul went all seven innings allowing two earned runs on four hits striking out two. The offense did the rest of the work for Paul.
Covenant scored eight runs on eight hits, but the Scots stole 10 bases including four for David Lockwood and three for Paul Phillips. Lockwood went 2-for-4 with two runs and a run batted in while Perry Rigby added two hits in three at-bats with an RBI and a run scored.
Covenant took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the fourth inning. K.C. Simons and Lockwood each had RBI singles and Chris Rollins scored on a balk. In the sixth inning, Will Cleland homered for the first time this season, a solo home run, and the Scots added two more runs for the final 8-2 tally.
Covenant 6, Union (Tenn.) 3
In the second game, Covenant broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with three runs and the Scots staved off elimination for a second straight game with a 6-3 win over Union.
With the game tied at 3-3, Covenant received consecutive hits to start the sixth from Phillips and Simons singled on a hit-and-run to put runners at first and third. Reid Pope then singled with two strikes to drive home Phillips with the go-ahead run to make it 4-3.
The inning would continue as Lockwood singled home Simons and Gillespie reached on an RBI fielder's choice scoring Baker.
Covenant starter Garrett Kriston threw seven innings and was able to get around a bout of wildness in the first two innings. Kriston (5-2) gave up two runs in the second inning, but ended up going all seven innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits.
Lockwood gave Covenant an early lead as he homered just over the left field, a solo shot, in the bottom of the first. Union responded with two runs in the second before Covenant scored twice in the fourth with RBI singles from Simons and Cleland to make it 3-2.
Union tied the score again in the top of the fifth as Jim Martin launched a solo home run to right field, his fifth of the season. But the Scots scored three runs in the sixth to claim the win.
Cleland, Lockwood, Simons, and Sterling Witt each had two hits for Covenant.
Check the tournament page here for live stats and video links along with the bracket.