FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- The Covenant baseball team finished the 2016 season in style with a doubleheader sweep at Methodist on Saturday afternoon. The Scots took game one 6-1 behind another outstanding pitching performance from Garrett Kriston before out-slugging the host Monarchs 12-9 in the second game.
Covenant finishes with a 23-17 overall record, while Methodist is 20-18 on the year.
GAME ONE: Covenant 6, Methodist 1
Kriston tossed a complete-game to cap his collegiate career and the Scots used a five-run fifth inning to take a 6-1 victory over Methodist in Saturday's first game.
Kriston (9-3) finished his career on Saturday in much of the same way he pitched throughout the 2016 season. The right-hander allowed one unearned run, while striking out 11 and surrendering just four hits in his outing. The victory gives Kriston sole possession of the program's career record for pitching wins with 23, while it was his sixth complete-game of the year and the 13th of his career (both program records).
The 11 strikeouts for Kriston eclipsed 100 on the year. Kriston, who entered the week still leading Division III in strikeouts, finishes the season with 101 total strikeouts.
The outing from Kriston was backed by a big fifth inning by the Scots' offense. Z Arima and Jay Epperson led off the fifth with consecutive walks before Devin Cerrato reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Luke Harvey produced an RBI single that plated Arima and Trenton Nobles followed with an RBI fielder's choice. Caleb Bloye came through with the biggest hit of the frame as his two-run triple to right-center field gave Covenant a 5-1 lead. Bloye later scored on a wild pitch for a 6-1 lead.
Harvey went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Epperson was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in the win for the Scots. Nobles and Bloye each had two RBIs.
Covenant took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Nobles drove in Epperson on a fielder's choice. Methodist answered back with a run in the fourth aided by a Covenant error with two away.
Methodist starter Seth Beard (3-4) went five innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits. Aaron O'Neil threw four scoreless innings in relief. Lucas Scott had two of Methodist's four hits in the loss.
GAME TWO: Covenant 12, Methodist 9
A six-run sixth inning propelled the Scots to a 12-9 victory over the Monarchs in the nightcap to secure the twinbill sweep.
Perry Rigby went 4-for-5 with two RBIs to lead a Covenant offense that pounded out 17 hits to score 12 times. Harvey was 3-for-5 with an RBI and four runs scored, while Bloye, Alex Kerr and Julien Amorelli had two hits each. Kerr also drove in three runs, while Bloye had two RBIs.
Trailing 2-0 entering the fourth inning, Covenant knotted the game on a Kerr one-out, two-run double to right-center field. After Methodist regained the lead at 3-2 in its half of the fourth, the Scots took the lead for good with three runs on three hits in the fifth. Bloye and Rigby had RBI singles in the frame giving Covenant a 5-3 lead.
The game opened up for Covenant with a six-run sixth inning. Daniel Johnson drove in Amorelli with a single to get the scoring started before RBI hits from Devin Cerrato, Kerr and Rigby put Covenant ahead 11-3.
Methodist would inch closer in the late innings, but Covenant would hold off the rally. Alec Mitchell came on in relief and threw the final three innings limiting the Monarchs to one run on two hits while striking out four to get his third save of the year.
Covenant starter Matt Reitz (3-6) gets the win after going five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Methodist's Tyler Hardee (5-3) picks up the loss.
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