LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team busted out for 10 runs and 14 hits in game one of Friday's USA South doubleheader against North Carolina Wesleyan before being limited offensively in game two. The Scots took game one 10-3 and dropped the second by a 4-1 score.
The twinbill split puts the Scots at 10-9 overall on the year with a 3-5 USA South record. N.C. Wesleyan goes to 14-6 overall and 6-2.
GAME ONE: Covenant 10, N.C. Wesleyan 3
The Scots scored five runs in the first and three more in the second to open an 8-0 lead and would cruise from there for a 10-3 victory in Friday's first game.
Caleb Bloye went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Z Arima collected three RBIs and went 2-for-4. Luke Harvey and Perry Rigby also drove in two runs each while tallying two hits. Devin Cerrato and Alex Kerr had two hits apiece in the victory.
Facing N.C. Wesleyan starter Ryan Grant, who came in with an ERA of below 2.00, Covenant wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. The Scots sent nine men to the plate in the first and scored five times on five hits. Bloye and Rigby had RBI singles while Arima had the biggest hit of the frame as his two-out double to left-center field scored three runs for a 5-0 lead.
In the second, it was more of the same for Covenant. Cerrato led off with a double and was chased home on a Harvey single. After an N.C. Wesleyan pitching change, Bloye smacked a double to left-center that plated Harvey. Rigby capped the inning with an RBI fielder's choice as he beat out a potential double play ball that gave Covenant an 8-0 lead.
That was plenty of offense for Scots starting pitcher Garrett Kriston to work with. Kriston tossed his third complete-game of the year as he allowed three runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts. Kriston (4-2) threw 121 pitches, 86 for strikes, in his outing.
Up 8-2, Covenant tacked on two more runs in the eighth as Harvey and Bloye produced RBI hits.
Grant (4-1) gets the loss for N.C. Wesleyan as he lasted just one-plus inning allowing seven runs, all earned, on seven hits. Reliever Robert Mondoux came on in the second and pitched the final seven innings.
Brandon Wheat went 3-for-4 with an RBI for N.C. Wesleyan, while Trey Croom added two hits in four at-bats.
GAME TWO: N.C. Wesleyan 4, Covenant 1
Four N.C. Wesleyan pitchers combined to limit the Covenant offense to one run on four hits and a James Lovett three-run home run in the seventh inning was the difference in a 4-1 Battling Bishops victory.
Covenant starter Matt Reitz (0-3) worked around a couple jams in the middle innings before surrendering three earned runs in 7.1 innings of work. Reitz struck out four and walked one in his outing.
With the game still scoreless in the seventh, N.C. Wesleyan got the first two batters on before Lovett, the USA South's leader in home runs with seven, hit a three-run homer to left field giving the visitors a 3-0 lead. N.C. Wesleyan added one more in the eighth for a 4-0 lead.
Covenant had its chances in the early innings to get on the scoreboard. The Scots put a runner on third base in four of the first five innings, but N.C. Wesleyan starter TJ Wilkie was able to get out of those jams unscathed upon each time. The Scots broke through in the eighth when Trenton Nobles laced a double to right field that scored Bloye cutting the N.C. Wesleyan lead to 4-1.
Cerrato, Harvey, Bloye and Nobles had a hit apiece for Covenant in the loss.
Dillon Moore (1-1) came on in relief for the Battling Bishops in the sixth and picked up the win. Ciro Norzagaray notched his third save of the year. Wilkie went five shutout innings and allowed just one hit, but walked five and threw 100 pitches. Lovett was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, while Norzagaray also added three hits.
Game three of the USA South series will take place on Saturday at noon on Lookout Mountain.
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