LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team took full possession of first place in the USA South by taking two-out-of-three from Ferrum on Saturday afternoon.
The Scots and visiting Panthers opened Saturday by completing the suspended game from Friday evening. Ferrum took game one 8-4, but Covenant rebounded and took the two regularly scheduled games on Saturday. Covenant won game two 3-1 and then game three 11-6.
The wins for Covenant moves the Scots to 20-7 on the season and 14-4 in league play. Covenant sits in first place in the USA South with a two-game lead in the loss column. Ferrum goes to 18-12 overall and 15-6 in conference action.
GAME ONE: Ferrum 8, Covenant 4
On Friday, the teams waited out a nearly two-hour fog delay before Ferrum grabbed an 8-4 until darkness meant that play needed to be suspended. The two teams resumed the game on Saturday starting in the bottom of the eighth and the Panthers had little difficulty in wrapping up the 8-4 win.
David Lockwood went 3-for-5 with a three-run double to lead the Scots offensively, while Will Cleland also finished 3-for-5. Covenant starter Micah Mabe (2-1) picked up the loss as he allowed six earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.
Ferrum's Jake Perkins (6-1) went five innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits, but gets credit for the victory. Sean King threw the final 3.2 innings and notched his second save of the year.
Ferrum gained a 7-1 lead with a three-run fourth inning and a four-run fifth. Covenant cut the deficit to 7-4 on Lockwood's bases-clearing double in the fifth, but the Scots would get no closer.
GAME TWO: Covenant 3, Ferrum 1
Garrett Kriston threw a complete-game four-hitter and Will Carlton's two-run home run made the difference as the Scost evened the series at a game apiece with a 3-1 win in Saturday's first scheduled game.
Kriston struggled in the first inning allowing a run on a hit, but the right-hander surrendered just three hits over the final eight innings. Kriston (5-1) struck out nine and walked one while throwing 124 pitches.
Ferrum had a 1-0 lead heading to the bottom of the third, but the Scots took the lead for good in that inning. Alex Kerr led off the frame with a single and Carlton followed with a towering homer to left field, his second of the season, to give the Scots a 2-1 lead.
Kriston made that margin stand up as he retired the final 13 batters of the game and struck out the side in the ninth to secure the victory.
Ferrum starter Dillon Weaver (5-1) pitched effectively, but is hit with the loss after allowing three runs in seven innings of work. Lane Deaver finished 2-for-3 for the Panthers and Adam Duncan recorded the lone RBI.
GAME THREE: Covenant 11, Ferrum 6
Covenant was held hitless until the fifth inning, but the Scots scored 11 times in the following four innings to earn the series victory with an 11-6 win.
Trailing 1-0 and without a hit going into the bottom of the fifth, the Scots' bats awoke just in time. Covenant scored twice in the fifth on an RBI double from Rollins and a run-scoring single by Z Arima to take a 2-1 lead.
Ferrum knotted the score at 2-2 in the sixth, but Covenant answered with two more runs in its half of the frame. Paul Phillips was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Rollins delivered a sacrifice fly to give Covenant a 4-2 edge.
Errors hurt the Scots in the seventh as Ferrum took advantage and scored four times to take a 6-4 lead. Once again the home team had a response in the bottom of the inning with four runs. Scott Gillespie drove in two with a double to deep left-center field to tie the game and that was followed by a Lockwood sacrifice fly and a Ferrum error that enabled the fourth run of the inning to score.
Covenant added three more runs in the eighth to go up 11-6. Lockwood cleared the bases with a three-run double to highlight the inning.
Rollins gets the win in relief by going the final three innings. Rollins (3-0) scattered four hits and did not allow a run in his outing. Starting pitcher Alhanon Miller went six innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts.
Simons, Gillespie and Phillips all recorded two hits apiece. Lockwood had four RBIs, while Gillespie and Rollins had two each.
Ferrum starter Javin Metz went five innings allowing two runs on three hits in a no-decision. Reliever Manny Torres (0-3) gets the loss for the Panthers. Deaver went 3-for-4 in the series finale.
Covenant will travel to face Berry on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in non-conference action.