LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team was shut down offensively in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against LaGrange, but the Scots responded in game two and rallied with a two-run 10th inning to take a 5-4 victory. Covenant lost game one 7-0.
The doubleheader split gave Covenant the series win in the opening USA South weekend. Covenant goes to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in league play, while LaGrange drops to 9-5 and 1-2.
GAME TWO: Covenant 5, LaGrange 4 (10 innings)
The Scots lost a 3-1 lead in the late innings and fell behind 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 10th before scoring twice, capped by a Trenton Nobles walk-off single, for a 5-4 comeback win. The victory gave Covenant the series win.
After LaGrange struck first with a run in the top of the first, Caleb Bloye knotted the score at 1-1 with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the inning. The home run was the second of the year for Bloye. The Scots added single runs in the third and fourth innings as Luke Harvey doubled home Devin Cerrato with two outs in the third before Alex Kerr blasted a solo home run to left to leadoff the fourth. The homer for Kerr was his first of the year.
LaGrange rallied back with a run in the sixth on a Chad Pigg RBI single. The Panthers thought they had tied the score in the seventh on an odd play. Cain Sauls hit a rocket to third base that glanced off Covenant's Joel Johnson and deflected into foul territory allowing Casey Bell to score from second. However, after play resumed, Covenant appealed to third and Bell was called out for missing the bag and the run was negated.
The Panthers did tie the score in the eighth as Pigg hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Blake Butcher.
The score remained 3-3 through the ninth and headed into extras. LaGrange took a 4-3 lead in the 10th when Pigg singled home Sauls with two away in the frame.
Things looked bleak for Covenant in its half of the 10th as LaGrange closer Adam DeWitt retired the first two hitters. With two outs, Kerr was hit by a pitch and pinch run for by Kyle Delk. With Delk running on the pitch, Johnson hit a shallow single to right field that was then misplayed by the LaGrange right fielder allowing Delk to score all the way from first. After Johnson stole second, Nobles took an 0-2 pitch and lined it to first base where the ball took a tough hop and skipped by the Panthers first baseman enabling Johnson to score the winning run.
It was the second walk-off single for Nobles this year and he went 1-for-5 in the game. Bloye was the only Scot to record two hits as he went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
Reliever Alec Mitchell (2-0) gets the win for Covenant as he threw the final three innings. Starter Matt Reitz was effective as he went seven innings allowing two earned runs. LaGrange's DeWitt (0-2) picks up the loss after allowing both runs in the 10th.
GAME ONE: LaGrange 7, Covenant 0
LaGrange's Ryan Broaderick tossed a three-hit shutout and the Panthers used a pair of two-run home runs to defeat Covenant 7-0.
Broaderick (2-1) went the distance scattering just three hits and one walk while striking out six. The lefty threw 108 pitches, 73 for strikes.
Blake Butcher gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-run home run and Keith Sims added a two-run shot of his own in the top of the fifth giving LaGrange a 4-0 lead. The Panthers scored three runs in the ninth for the final tally.
Cerrato, Delk and Perry Rigby all had a hit apiece. Starting pitcher Jonah Paul (2-2) went six innings allowing just four hits, but also surrendered both home runs. Drew Bradley came on to throw the final three innings and did not allow an earned run.
Covenant will host Sewanee in non-conference play on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
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