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Baseball Scots Explode for 16 Runs in Game One, But Split with LaGrange

KC Simons (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
KC Simons (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- The Covenant baseball team routed LaGrange 16-1 in Saturday's opener, but could not hold a late lead in game two as the Scots fell 4-3 in USA South action at Cleaveland Field.

With the win in game one, Covenant (7-7, 4-5 USA South) snapped a five-game losing skid with the game one win. LaGrange goes to 5-9 overall and 5-7 in conference play.

Game 1: Covenant 16, LaGrange 1

Covenant scored a season-high 16 runs and banged out 18 hits in a 16-1 rout of LaGrange in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.

KC Simons went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored, while Will Carlton and Caleb Bloye each had three hits and three RBIs in the contest. Z Arima was 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.

Covenant wasted little time in taking charge on Saturday. The Scots scored twice in the top of the first as Carlton tripled home Simons with one out. Later in the inning, Ryan Reilly singled up the middle to give Covenant a 2-0 lead.

LaGrange got a run back in the third by taking advantage of a Scots error on Cain Sauls' batted ball that allowed Ty Edwards to score and make it 2-1. In the top of the fourth, the Scots tallied a run on a Scott Gillespie sacrifice fly, his first of two in game one, to stretch the lead to 3-1.

A three-run sixth inning broke open the contest as Covenant gained a 6-1 lead. Simons, Carlton and Bloye all had RBI singles in the frame. The Scots added another in the seventh on a Will Cleland RBI single that scored Luke Harvey to make it 7-1.

Everything broke loose for the Scots in the ninth as they scored nine runs on seven hits and sent 14 men to the plate. Andrew Beck, Simons, Carlton and Arima had RBI singles while Gillespie produced another sacrifice fly and Bloye drove in two runs with a single.

All the runs came in support of Covenant starting pitcher Micah Mabe. Mabe (2-1) went seven innings scattering eight hits and allowing one unearned run. The lefty struck out five and was efficient as he threw 97 pitches, 74 for strikes. Perry Rigby and Bloye each threw scoreless innings to seal the win.

LaGrange starter Eric Morell (1-4) was hit with the loss after surrendering six earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work. Morell did record four strikeouts. Edwards and Keith Sims had two hits apiece for the host Panthers.

Game 2: LaGrange 4, Covenant 3

Covenant held a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but LaGrange rallied with three runs to take the rubber match of the series 4-3.

Like in game one, Covenant got off to a quick start with a pair of runs in the first inning. Bloye continued his hot hitting with a two-run single in the first that plated Carlton and Gillespie. LaGrange answered with a run in the fourth inning on a Chris Laye RBI single, but Covenant responded with a run in the fifth when Cleland drove home Harvey to give the Scots a 3-1 lead.

Covenant ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. LaGrange worked a pair of walks sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt that was followed by an RBI single from Cain Sauls and an RBI sacrifice bunt by Casey Bell to tie the score at 3-3. LaGrange took the lead for good with a two-out RBI single from Alec Redden that made it 4-3.

The Scots would put a runner on in each of the final two innings, but could not scratch across the tying run.

Covenant starting pitcher Jonah Paul turned in another solid outing going five innings and allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Reliever Alec Mitchell (1-2) picks up the loss after allowing three runs on two hits in 1.2 innings after coming on for Paul.

Bloye went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Harvey tallied two hits, both doubles, and a run scored in four at-bats. Forrest Hunter led the Scots with three hits, including a double, in the losing effort.

LaGrange starter Zach English (2-1) gets the win after throwing seven innings and giving up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Blake Schuck receives the save as he tossed the final two innings, both scoreless frames. 

Covenant will return home for a doubleheader against USA South foe William Peace on Tuesday starting at noon. The games are a makeup from the three-games series that was wiped out by winter weather on Feb. 27-28.

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.