CARY, N.C. -- The Covenant baseball team took a doubleheader sweep from William Peace on Friday evening in USA South play. The Scots took game one 3-2 before rallying in game two for a 9-8 victory at the USA Baseball National Training Facility in Cary.
The game one win gave head coach Doug Simons his 200th career coaching victory. Simons, who was instrumental in restarting the program, is the only head coach in the modern era of the program. He has led his teams to a pair of national tournaments and a conference championship in his 11 years at the helm of the program.
Covenant (10-14, 3-8 USA South) has won four of its last five games and will go for the series sweep on Saturday.
GAME ONE: Covenant 3, William Peace 2
It was a pitcher's duel in game one, but Covenant took an early lead and then held on in the late innings to earn a 3-2 victory. The win was head coach Doug Simons' 200th career coaching victory.
Covenant got on the board first in the third as Caleb Bloye and Luke Harvey pulled off a double steal, with Bloye taking home, for a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Christian Murray delivered an RBI single to score Z Arima giving the Scots a 2-0 lead.
In the eighth, Covenant took a 3-1 lead as Murray again came through with an RBI single that plated Arima from second. William Peace got a run back in its half of the eighth, but reliever Sam Doherty worked out of the jam to thwart the rally and keep Covenant ahead 3-2.
The host Pacers nearly tied the game in the ninth, but a strong throw from Covenant left fielder Joel Johnson gunned down the tying run at the plate and Doherty would close the door from there to seal the win.
Matt Reitz (4-4) was phenomenal in his start as he went seven innings allowing one run on five hits to pick up the win. Doherty collected his first save of the year after going the final 1.2 innings. Bloye finished 4-for-5 at the plate, while Harvey and Murray also had two hits apiece.
Trevor Pence (3-2) got the loss for the Pacers. Tyler Tilson and Nathan Holt had a pair of hits each for William Peace.
GAME TWO: Covenant 9, William Peace 8
Covenant took a 5-0 lead in the first, but would fall behind 8-7 in the late innings before scoring two runs in the ninth to take a 9-8 win and complete the doubleheader sweep.
Johnson went 4-for-6 with four RBIs for Covenant, while Trenton Nobles also had four hits in five at-bats. Harvey and Bloye had two hits apiece to aid in Covenant's 15-hit attack.
Covenant scored five runs in the first as Johnson hit a three-run double to put the Scots ahead 3-0. Two William Peace errors led to two more Covenant runs as the Scots surged ahead 5-0. Johnson added an RBI single in the fourth to give the Scots a 6-1 lead.
But William Peace would respond and eventually take an 8-7 lead following a five-run seventh inning. Covenant would rally in the ninth as a Pacer error allowed Zack Walch to score the tying run before Harvey delivered an RBI single to center field that brought in the go-ahead run.
William Peace reliever Braxton Lamm (1-1) gets the loss as he went 0.2 innings and surrendered two unearned runs. Holt drove in three runs for the Pacers.
Covenant and William Peace will complete their series on Saturday with a single-game starting at 1 p.m.
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