LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- With chilly conditions and a stiff wind blowing out to left field, visiting Piedmont hit five home runs and took the series opener over the Covenant baseball team, 13-2, on Thursday afternoon.
The series will conclude on Friday as the teams play a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Saturday's game was moved up to Friday due to the threat of rain.
Piedmont (9-6, 6-1 USA South) scored in all but two innings and hit five homers, including two off the bat of Tyler Burdette, while starter Sam Carpenter stymied the Covenant (7-9, 5-2 USA South) offense. The teams combined for six home runs on the day.
The Scots were held to just two runs on eight hits, the fewest runs Covenant has scored in a game since Feb. 6. Both of Covenant's runs came in the sixth inning when Caleb Bloye blasted a two-run homer to left field that plated Devin Cerrato. The home run was Bloye's third of the year.
Cerrato had three of the Scots' eight hits on the day as he doubled twice and finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. Joel Johnson extended his hitting streak to 10 with a single in the sixth inning and he went 1-for-4. Austin Trammell picked up his first collegiate hit with a single in the seventh inning.
Piedmont scored in each inning from the second through the seventh to build an 11-2 lead. Burdette hit his first homer of the day in the second inning, a two-run shot to left field, and then added another when he turned on a Matt Reitz pitch and deposited it over the right-center field fence for a solo homer in the sixth. Burdette went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
Brady Ballstadt homered to left field in the third, a solo shot, to give the visiting Lions a 3-0 lead. In the fifth, Andrew Burden sent a two-run homer down the right field line to extend the Piedmont lead to 6-0. Burden added a two-run single in the seventh as Piedmont upped the margin to 11-2 in that inning.
Jabin Smith went 2-for-5 with four RBIs and got into the homer act as he drove a pitch that hit the top of the fence in left field and then bounced over for a two-run homer in the ninth to cap the 13-2 victory for Piedmont.
Reitz (2-2) got the loss for Covenant as he surrendered four homers in six innings of work. Carpenter (4-1) picked up the win for Piedmont after scattering six hits and allowing two runs over seven innings.
Games two and three of the USA South series will take place on Friday on Lookout Mountain. Game one of the doubleheader is set for 12 p.m.
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