LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team fell in its home finale of 2016 on Saturday to visiting Piedmont 14-7 on Senior Day.
Covenant drops to 20-15 overall and 9-8 in the USA South. The Scots have clinched a spot in next week's USA South Tournament in Wilson, N.C., but the first round opponent and game time have yet to be decided. Piedmont goes to 19-16 on the year and 6-12 in the USA South.
Before the game, Covenant recognized its four seniors: Jonah Paul, Garrett Kriston, Alec Mitchell and Perry Rigby. Together, the group won 89 games over the last four years and helped lead the program to a USA South regular season title and two national tournament appearances (NCCAA in 2013 and NCAA in 2014). Paul, who has been injured for much of the season, got the start on the mound to finish his college career at home.
Piedmont scored four runs in the first, with three coming on a three-run homer off the bat of Griffin Olson, to take a 4-0 lead. Covenant battled back with four runs in the bottom of the second as Luke Harvey had a two-run single, while Caleb Bloye and Alex Kerr also provided RBIs to tie the game at 4-4.
Covenant took a 7-4 lead with three runs in the third. Rigby and Z Arima led off the inning with back-to-back home runs. The homer for Rigby was his fourth of the year and Arima's was his first. Later in the frame, Harvey delivered again as he doubled home Taylor Bloye making it 7-4.
But Piedmont answered with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth tie the game at 7-7. The Lions then put three more runs on the board in the seventh and capped the comeback victory with a four-run ninth inning.
Harvey, Kerr, Arima and Taylor Bloye all had two hits apiece in the loss. Bloye and Arima scored two runs each and Harvey had three RBIs.
Piedmont reliever Allen Tokarz (5-1) is credited with the win as he came out of the bullpen to throw five no-hit innings with six strikeouts after starter Max Bening and reliever Seth George struggled to slow the Scots. Olson went 2-for-5 with four RBIs for the Lions.
Covenant will open the USA South Tournament on Thursday at a time to be determined and an opponent also yet unknown. The first round game will take place at Fleming Stadium in Wilson, N.C.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here