DEMOREST, Ga. -- Scott Gillespie, Chris Rollins and Alex Kerr each had two hits, but the sixth-seeded Covenant baseball team fell to top-seed Shenandoah 11-3 in the opener of the NCAA South Regional Tournament on Wednesay afternoon at Loudermilk Field.
Covenant (26-14) drops to the losers' bracket and will play Thursday at noon against the loser of Wednesday's second game between second-seeded Emory and fifth-seeded Rhodes.
Shenandoah (32-9), ranked 13th in Division III, scored two runs off Covenant starter Garrett Kriston in the first inning and would lead throughout. Corbin Lucas and Billy Arens each went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and one RBI apiece to lead the Hornets 17-hit attack.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the third, Covenant strung together three hits and scored twice to make it a 3-2 game. Kerr and Paul Phillips had consecutive singles to start the frame and KC Simons reached on an error while trying to sacrifice bunt to load the bases with no outs. Gillespie came through with his first hit of the game, a single to center field, that plated Kerr. Perry Rigby followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that enabled Phillips to score.
Shenandoah struck for three more runs in its half of the third to go ahead 6-2. The Hornets extended their lead to 8-2 in the fifth.
The Scots got a run back in the sixth. Kerr picked up his second hit of the game with a one-out single and later scored on a fielding error by Shenandoah left fielder Daniel Freshley on Will Cleland's two-out, two-strike single. However, the Scots could not capitalize further in the frame as they left the bases loaded.
Shenandoah tacked on three more runs off two Covenant relievers in the eighth inning for the final score.
Gillespie and Rigby had an RBI apiece for the Scots. Simons, Cleland, Rigby, Will Carlton and Phillips each recorded a hit. Covenant left 15 men on base, including the bases loaded with two outs on four occasions.
Kriston (7-3) picked up the loss after going 6.2 innings and throwing 116 pitches. Ben Mitchell and Rollins came on in relief.
Shenandoah starter Darrell Thompson (10-2) notched his 10th win of the year after lasting seven innings and allowing two earned runs on eight hits. Thompson threw 146 pitches. Michael Paul and JJ McDaniel had three hits apiece for the Hornets.
For complete information, including links to live video, stats and audio, visit the official tournament page here