Clutch Hitting Lifts Baseball Past Emory & Henry on Opening Day

Will Carlton (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
Will Carlton (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team used three two-out RBI singles and a strong start from Garrett Kriston to defeat visiting Emory & Henry 3-1 on Friday afternoon to open the 2015 season.

Covenant scored two unearned runs in the seventh inning, both coming with two outs, to break a 1-1 tie and would hold on over the final two innings to pick up an opening day victory for the third straight year.

Kriston (1-0) allowed one run in the first inning, but settled down after that and threw seven scoreless frames. The right-hander surrendered five hits and struck out four, and at one point retired 11 batters in a row, over his eight innings of work. Alec Mitchell picked up his first save in two years as he pitched a perfect ninth inning.

Emory & Henry (0-1) scored its run in the top of the first. After the first two batters were retired, three straight batters reached to load the bases. Carson Bryant then produced an RBI single to center field to give the Wasps a 1-0 lead.

That lead would last until the fifth inning. With two outs and runners at first and third, Scott Gillespie singled through the left side of the infield to bring home KC Simons and knot the score at 1-1.

Emory & Henry starting pitcher Ty Hill was relieved in the seventh inning and the Scots took advantage. Devin Cerrato reached on an error to leadoff the inning and would score on a two-out single from Perry Rigby. Will Carlton followed with an RBI single of his own that gave Covenant a 3-1 lead.

Kriston and Mitchell combined to shut the door on the Wasps in the eighth and ninth innings.

Hill gets a no-decision after allowed one run on six hits in six innings. Hill did not record a strikeout while walking one and hitting two. Matthew McInaw (0-1) gets the loss after he gave up two unearned runs on three hits in two innings.

Carlton finished 3-for-4 with an RBI for Covenant (1-0) while Gillespie went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Rigby, Alex Kerr, Ryan Reilly and Cerrato each recorded a hit in the victory.

Bryant had two of the five Emory & Henry (0-1) hits on the day with one RBI. Bransen Christopher, Kevin Nelson and Hunter Jeffries all had one apiece.

Games two and three of the weekend series will take place on Saturday beginning at noon. Both games will be seven innings.

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