LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team busted out of a five-game slump with a pair of USA South victories over Averett. The Scots took game one 8-2 before taking game two 12-2 on a sunny and windy Thursday afternoon on Lookout Mountain.
Covenant (9-12, 7-4 USA South) had lost five straight games entering the day, but the Scots scored 20 runs on 20 hits to break out and take the two conference wins. CJ Edmond went a combined 6-for-8 with a home run and five RBIs on the day.
GAME ONE: Covenant 8, Averett 2
Covenant got a strong start from Matt Reitz and scored three runs in the third, two in the fifth, and two in the eighth to come away with an 8-2 win over Averett in game one.
Reitz (3-2) had his longest outing of the year as the junior right-hander went eight innings and allowed two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts. Reitz threw 100 pitches in the contest, 73 for strikes.
The offense came to life for the Scots. A solo homer off the bat of Edmond in the bottom of the second, his third of the year, gave Covenant a 1-0 lead. After Averett tied the score in the third, the Scots put a three-spot on the board in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Joel Johnson ripped a two-run triple to right-center field that scored Caleb Bloye and Daniel Johnson giving the Scots a 3-1 lead. Joel Johnson then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.
Averett cut the lead to 4-2 on a Dallas Smithers RBI single in the fifth, but again Covenant responded. In the home half of the fifth, Devin Cerrato had a sacrifice fly and Trenton Nobles followed with a two-out RBI single to extend the lead to 6-2.
Those runs were enough for Reitz, who retired the side in order four times in his outing. Conor Austin came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.
Edmond was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Caleb Bloye was 2-for-3 with two runs. Joel Johnson had a hit in three at-bats with two RBIs, and Nobles and Carignan had a hit, run, and RBI apiece.
Ryan Traylor (1-3) got the loss for the visiting Cougars as he went five innings and allowed six runs on six hits. Kyle Vidano and Nick Taylor had two hits each.
GAME TWO: Covenant 12, Averett 2
A five-run fifth inning broke open a close game and Covenant completed the doubleheader sweep with a 12-2 victory in Thursday's finale.
Edmond continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Ken Alexander was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Cerrato homered and went 2-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs and Joel Johnson also homered and drove in two.
Averett took a 1-0 lead in the first, but it didn't last long. Cerrato tied the game with a solo homer to leadoff the second inning, his first of the year. In the third, it was Joel Johnson's turn to go yard as his two-run blast to left-center made it a 3-1 game. Johnson's homer was his second of the season.
It was the five-run fifth that broke open the close game. Edmond had a two-run single before Cerrato beat out a potential double-play ball to score another. Alexander then came through with a two-run double to left-center field that made it 8-1.
The run support came for starter Taylor Bloye. Making his first start of the year, Bloye (3-2) picked up the win going seven innings and allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts. The senior righty threw 94 pitches, with 63 finding the zone. At one point in the middle innings, Bloye retired 12 straight Averett batters.
Covenant tacked on insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Austin Trammell and Alexander had RBI singles in the seventh, and an Edmond two-run single in the eighth capped the scoring.
Smithers (2-3) received the loss for Averett (6-17, 2-6 USA South) after lasting 4.1 innings in his start. Neil Hutchens and Bradley Tickle drove in a run apiece for the Cougars.
Covenant will go for the series sweep on Friday in the finale. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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