LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team could not capitalize on its scoring opportunities in both games of Friday's doubleheader as visiting Piedmont completed a three-game sweep of the Scots with 6-0 and 6-1 victories.
Covenant (7-11, 5-4 USA South) was held to just three runs in the series, but had chances to score throughout both games on Friday. The Scots left 19 runners on base between the two games. Piedmont goes to 11-6 on the year and 8-1 in USA South play.
GAME ONE: Piedmont 6, Covenant 0
Piedmont was able to score six runs despite being held to six hits and the visiting Lions got a strong start from Ryan Stewart to take game one 6-0.
Caleb Bloye and Joel Johnson each had two hits for Covenant, but the Scots could not string together hits off Stewart. Covenant stranded five runners in scoring position in the contest and eight overall.
Piedmont scored two runs in the second without the benefit of a hit as two walks, a hit by pitch, an error, and two wild pitches allowed the Lions to score twice in the frame and take a 2-0 lead. The margin grew to 4-0 in the fifth when Brady Ballstadt and Andrew Burden produced RBI hits. An RBI single from Jabin Smith in the sixth and a wild pitch that scored Justin Groover in the eighth was all the support Stewart and the Lions needed.
Stewart (3-2) went seven innings and scattered six hits with four strikeouts. Burden was the only Piedmont batter with multiple hits as he finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Drew Bradley (1-3) made the start for Covenant and lasted 4.1 innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Taylor Bloye was solid again out of the bullpen as he tossed the final 4.2 innings and surrendered one earned run on one hit with six strikeouts.
GAME TWO: Piedmont 6, Covenant 1
Covenant took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Piedmont answered and finished the series sweep with a 6-1 victory.
Piedmont knotted the score with a run in the second and then took the lead for good on a Ballstadt RBI single in the fifth inning. The Lions added two more runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth for the final tally.
Covenant had a chance to carve into the deficit in the sixth inning as the Scots loaded the bases with two away after Devin Cerrato and Daniel Johnson produced singles and Jonah Carignan worked a walk. However, Piedmont reliever Alex Andrew got the final out to preserve the 4-1 Piedmont lead. Covenant left 11 men on base in the second game.
The Scots used five pitchers in the game. Tristen Green made the start and went 1.1 innings before Andrew Cline took over. Cline (0-1) collected the loss, but pitched effectively out of the bullpen allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
David Craft (3-0) got the win for Piedmont after going 5.2 innings and allowing one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Groover went 4-for-5 with an RBI, while four other Lions also had multi-hit games.
Lewis finished 3-for-5 with a run for Covenant, while Daniel Johnson was 3-for-4.
Covenant travels to face region foe Sewanee on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. EDT.
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