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Scots Complete Series Sweep of N.C. Wesleyan

Will Cleland
Will Cleland

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team continued its hot start to the 2014 season with a doubleheader sweep of North Carolina Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. The Scots took game one 10-0 and then wrapped up a three-game series sweep of the Battling Bishops with a 5-2 win in the day's second game.

Covenant moves to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in the USA South. N.C. Wesleyan drops to 2-10 overall and 0-6 in league play.

GAME ONE: Covenant 10, N.C. Wesleyan 0

Scott Gillespie and Perry Rigby each had two RBIs and the Scots pounded out 16 hits in support of starting pitcher Garrett Kriston to cruise to a 10-0 victory.

Gillespie, coming off a 4-for-4 day on Friday, went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of runs driven in. Rigby finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs. KC Simons was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI and David Lockwood tallied three hits in five at-bats.

Kriston (2-0) was sharp once again as he went eight innings and struck out 10 while allowing five hits and walking two. The right-hander, who was named USA Pitcher of the Week on Monday, has not allowed a run in 15 innings in two starts this season and has 20 strikeouts. 

Covenant got on the board in the third inning with three runs. With two outs, Gillespie doubled home Simons and Rigby followed with a double to deep center field that brought in both Will Cleland and Gillespie.

In the fourth, Simons singled home Paul Phillps and Forrest Hunter was able to score on an errant throw from the N.C. Wesleyan right fielder to make it 5-0. Covenant added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead 7-0. Gillespie scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and Cleland lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that brought home Simons in the sixth.

The Scots provided three more runs in the eighth for the final tally. Lockwood doubled home Cleland and Gillespie's second double of the game plated pinch-runner Luke Harvey. Gillespie later scored on another wild pitch to make it 10-0.

N.C. Wesleyan's Richard Harrell (0-2) gets the loss as he went 3.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits. Jason Riley went 2-for-4 to lead the Battling Bishops offense.

GAME TWO: Covenant 5, N.C. Wesleyan 2

A tighter contest took place in the final game of the three-game set, but the Scots found enough offense to secure a 5-2 victory.

Covenant starter Alhanon Miller (1-1) worked through some early inning issues to pitch seven strong innings. The tall right-hander surrendered two runs on five hits and struck out three. Chris Rollins picked up his first save of the season by working the final two innings as he allowed just two hits.

N.C. Wesleyan took its first lead of the series at 1-0 in the top of the first. After a Riley doubled that moved Luis Palencia to third, Ciro Norzagaray grounded out to second that allowed Palencia to score.

But the Scots answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Covenant was patient as they took three walks in the frame, with the third being drawn by Rigby that allowed Simons to score. One batter later, Will Carlton beat out a potential inning-ending double play ball that enabled Cleland to score and give the Scots a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth, Cleland singled home Z Arima to extend the lead to 3-1. N.C. Wesleyan made it 3-2 in the fifth when Palencia drove in Stephen Machin with a single to left-center field.

Covenant added two runs in the sixth when Cleland came through with a looping single to shallow left field that scored both Arima and pinch-runner Andrew Beck for a 5-2 edge.

Rollins was able to shut the door in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the series sweep.

Cleland finished game two 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored. Arima tallied three hits in four at-bats with a pair of runs. Simons, Rigby and Braeden Lane each had a hit.

N.C. Wesleyahn starter Jackson Pleasant (0-2) is saddled with the loss as he allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings of work. Ryan Grant, Daniel Carroll and Matthew Rhyne combined to throw 2.1 scoreless innings in relief for the Battling Bishops.

Covenant will be on the road next weekend at Huntingdon for a three-game USA South series. Game one is on Friday and set to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

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