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Six-Run Second Propels Baseball to Season Finale Win at Averett

Andrew Beck (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
Andrew Beck (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

DANVILLE, Va. -- A six-run second inning gave the Covenant baseball team a big lead and the Scots held off a late rally to down Averett 8-7 in Saturday's season finale at Owen-Fulton Field in Danville.

Covenant ends the year with a 15-23 overall record and an 11-16 mark in the USA South. Averett finishes 25-13 overall and 19-11 in the conference.

After falling in two games on Friday, the Scots got on the board quickly on Saturday with a run in the first. KC Simons led off with a double and later scored on a passed ball giving Covenant a 1-0 lead. Averett answered with a run in its half of the first on Kevin Alvarez's sacrifice fly to right field.

In the second, Covenant built a big lead with six runs on five hits with all nine men coming to bat. The first three hitters reached base as Will Carlton and Luke Harvey produced singles around Forrest Hunter being hit with a pitch to load the bases. Andrew Beck drew a bases loaded walk to give the Scots a 2-1 lead. Kyle Delk followed by grounding into a double play that scored Hunter. Simons reignited the rally with a hit by pitch that was followed by a Will Cleland RBI double and a Caleb Bloye two-run single. Alex Kerr capped the frame with an RBI single to right field that made it 7-1.

Covenant maintained its comfortable lead through the middle innings as starting pitcher Jonah Paul held the host Cougars at bay. In the seventh, the Scots tacked on another as Cleland drove in Delk with an RBI single to center field to make it 8-2.

Averett would make things interesting with three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but Perry Rigby sealed the victory with a strikeout of Averett's Taylor Davis in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Paul (5-3) went 6.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits. The right-hander worked around five walks and recorded three strikeouts while throwing 110 pitches. Rigby records his first collegiate save by going the final 1.1 innings with three strikeouts.

Playing in their final collegiate games as the double play tandem up the middle, Simons and Cleland both recorded two hits with Simons scoring two runs and Cleland driving in a pair. Bloye added two hits in four at-bats with two RBIs. Kerr, Carlton, Harvey and Delk had a hit apiece.

Alvarez went 1-for-3 with three RBIs for Averett, while Kyle Vidano and Nic Futrell each had two hits. Jeffrey Younkins (1-1) gets the loss after surrendering seven runs, six earned, in two innings of work.

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