LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant baseball team nearly pulled off a big comeback in the ninth inning, but the Scots ultimately fell to visiting Wittenberg, 13-10, on a chilly Tuesday afternoon.
It was the first mid-week, non-conference game for Covenant (7-4) on the year. The game marked the first all-time meeting between the Scots and Wittenberg (4-1).
Trailing 13-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, Covenant would not go quietly and the Scots brought the potential winning run to the plate twice. CJ Edmond walked to leadoff the frame followed by a Tyler Moore double. A Wittenberg error on John Mitchell's deep fly to left brought home Edmond to cut the deficit to 13-6. A run-scoring balk followed by a Donny Lewis sacrifice fly trimmed the margin to 13-8. Brett Kernodle and Jonah Carignan kept the rally alive with RBI hits to make it 13-10.
With the bases loaded and one out, Wittenberg turned to closer Adam Mays, who got the final two outs to secure the win for the visiting Tigers.
Big innings throughout the game allowed Wittenberg to hold the lead for most of the afternoon. The Tigers scored three runs in the first and used a five-run fourth inning to grab the lead for good. Wittenberg added four more runs in the seventh and a single tally in the eighth.
Covenant took a 4-3 lead in the third inning with four runs. Moore doubled home both Edmond and Hunter Christian before Alex Gonzalez smacked a two-run homer down the left field line giving the Scots a one-run edge. The home run was Gonzalez's second of the season.
However, Wittenberg answered with five runs in the fourth, as Jack Siefert and Ryan Probst had back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Tigers an 8-4 lead.
Moore finished 2-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Christian and Carignan had two hits apiece. Gonzalez was 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Kernodle and Lewis Saunders also produced a hit each.
Covenant utilized nine pitchers on the afternoon. Tyrique Wilmore made the start and went one inning allowing two earned runs on three hits. Tristen Green (0-1) picked up the loss in relief. John Sherrod threw two scoreless innings, while Tyler Cox, Ross Skipper, and Grayson Shaw also had spotless outings.
Wittenberg reliever Brandon Beegle (1-0) got the win as he went 4.2 innings and allowed one hit with six strikeouts. Starter Rusty Hayhurst lasted 3.1 innings after surrendering five runs on three hits. Mays collected his first save of the year after getting the final two outs.
Probst went 3-for-5 with four RBIs as Wittenberg had 10 hits.
Covenant returns to USA South action this weekend with a three-game series at Averett. Game one is set for Friday at 3 p.m.
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