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Bryan Sweeps Doubleheader from Baseball

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

DAYTON, Tenn. -- Forced to find a new opponent this weekend after a three-game series with USA South foe William Peace was postponed, the Covenant baseball team turned to an old rival. The Scots faced former conference rival Bryan on Saturday in Dayton for a pair of games. Covenant dropped the first game 5-1 to the host Lions and the second contest 5-2.

Covenant falls to 6-5 overall, while Bryan goes to 15-4.

Both teams were rivals and members of the NAIA's Appalachian Athletic Conference as recent as 2010. The squads had not played since 2011 before Saturday.

Game 1: Bryan 5, Covenant 1

Bryan scored twice in the first inning, built a 4-0 lead and would hold on for a 5-1 victory in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.

Scott Gillespie and Caleb Bloye each went 2-for-4 for the Scots in the loss. Starting pitcher Garrett Kriston struggled in the first two innings before settling down over the middle innings. Kriston (2-1) went six innings and allowed four runs, three earned, with one strikeout on 92 pitches but picked up the loss.

Bryan got on the board with a pair of runs in the first off Kriston. Preston King delivered the biggest hit of the frame with a two-out, two-run double. The Lions added a run in the third on a Kevin Roberts RBI single to make it 3-0.

Trailing 4-0, Covenant got a run back in seventh. The Scots started the inning with three straight hits culminating in a Will Cleland RBI single that plated pinch-runner Luke Harvey. Bryan reliever Chad Burrows limited the damage and got out of the inning with Bryan still leading 4-1.

Bryan starter LJ Rowden (2-1) gets the win after going six scoreless innings allowing five hits while striking out five. Burrows gets the save as he threw the final three innings.

King went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Lions offensively.

Game 2: Bryan 5, Covenant 2 (7 innings)

Bryan starting pitcher Kenny Knudsen threw seven strong innings as the Lions completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-2 win in game two.

Knudsen (5-0), coming off a seven-inning no-hitter in his last start, allowed two runs on six hits and racked up six strikeouts in his complete-game effort.

Like in game one, Bryan struck first with a run in its half of the first inning. Roberts produced an RBI single in the inning to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

In the second, Covenant got to Knudsen for a pair of runs. Will Carlton blasted a solo home run to left field, his first of the year, to tie the score at 1-1. The Scots took a 2-1 lead on a Cleland RBI single that scored Harvey.

Bryan knotted the game at 2-2 in its half of the second. In the fifth, King again delivered, this time with a long solo home run to right field, his third of the year. Bryan tacked on two more runs in the sixth for the final margin.

Micah Mabe started for Covenant and went three innings allowing two runs on four hits. Jonah Paul (1-2) came on in relief and surrendered King's homer to pick up the loss. 

Carlton finished 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Cleland went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.

Covenant will be back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Sewanee. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information.