LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Scott Gillespie went 4-for-4 and the Covenant baseball team used a 12-run, 14-hit attack to defeat North Carolina Wesleyan 12-6 in game one of a three-game USA South series on Friday afternoon.
Games two and three of the weekend series will be played on Saturday. First pitch of game one is set for 12 p.m.
Gillespie went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the Scots (4-1, 1-0 USA South). David Lockwood finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs and a home run, while KC Simons and Will Cleland each went 2-for-4 with a combined five runs scored. The top four hitters in the Covenant lineup (Simons, Cleland, Lockwood and Gillespie) were a combined 10-for-17 with seven RBIs and nine runs scored.
The offense supported the pitching as starter Micah Mabe pitched two-plus innings before being relieved by Jordan Lester. Lester (2-0), the reigning USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week, had another solid outing as he went six innings and surrendered one run on three hits. Taylor Bloye made his collegiate debut by pitching the ninth.
N.C. Wesleyan's Will Beasley (0-3) is hit with the loss as he lasted 2.1 innings and allowed six runs, though only two were earned, on seven hits.
Covenant scored four runs in the bottom of the first as the Scots took advantage of two N.C. Wesleyan errors. Lockwood drove in Cleland with an RBI groundout, Perry Rigby doubled home Gillespie and Paul Phillips drove in a pair with a double to left-center field to make it 4-0.
The Scots added two more runs in the second as Lockwood produced another RBI groundout and Gillespie singled in Cleland. After the visiting Battling Bishops made it 6-2, Covenant scored two more in the bottom of the fourth as Lockwood scored on a double play and Gillespie scampered home on a wild pitch to make it 8-2.
Piling it on in the eighth, Covenant scored four more times as Simons doubled home Chris Rollins and Cleland tripled in Simons. Lockwood capped the Scots scoring with a two-run home run, his first of the year, to give Covenant a 12-3 lead.
N.C. Wesleyan (2-8, 0-4 USA South) was led offensively by Jason Riley's 2-for-3 effort with an RBI and a run scored. Luis Palencia had a hit and two RBIs in four at-bats.