LAGRANGE, Ga. -- The Covenant baseball team gave No. 24 LaGrange all it could handle on Saturday, but the host Panthers completed a three-game series sweep with 6-2 and 5-4 wins over the Scots at Cleaveland Field.
Covenant drops to 10-12 on the year and 4-7 inside the USA South. LaGrange, ranked No. 24 in the current D3baseball.com Top 25, goes to 18-6 and 11-3.
GAME ONE: LaGrange 6, Covenant 2
LaGrange methodically built a 6-0 lead as the Panthers took game one, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon.
Covenant out-hit the Panthers 10-9, but the Scots could not capitalize on scoring chances in the third, fourth, and seventh innings. Tyler Moore, Alex Gonzalez, and CJ Edmond had two hits apiece, while Edmond would drive in Covenant's two runs.
The Scots broke through in the eighth inning as Moore and Gonzalez reached on singles to begin the frame. Edmond then tripled home both runners to draw Covenant within 6-2. However, LaGrange reliever Tanner Chafin worked out of further damage to keep the host Panthers in the lead.
Richie Post tossed six innings of scoreless baseball for the Panthers. Post (4-0) scattered six hits and struck out nine. Chafin threw the final three innings to pick up the save.
Joe Ruth had RBI singles for LaGrange in the first and third innings to build a 2-0 lead. The Panthers then added three runs in the fifth and another in the seventh to pull away for the win. Ruth went 2-for-4, while McKInley Erves also had two hits.
Andrew Cline (3-2) got the loss for Covenant as he went six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits.
GAME TWO: LaGrange 5, Covenant 4
Covenant battled back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the eighth inning, but a safety squeeze bunt from Austin McDade gave LaGrange the lead for good as the Panthers finished the sweep with a 5-4 win.
The Scots trailed 4-0 entering the seventh, but scored three runs to get within one. Tommy Easley and Moore had singles, sandwiched around a LaGrange error, to load the bases with nobody out. Gonzalez bounced into a fielder's choice that allowed Easley to score the Scots' first run of the game. Two batters later, Hunter Christian doubled home two runs to make it 4-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, McDade's safety squeeze bunt down the first base line allowed Rhett Hollon to score the eventual winning run.
Covenant had 11 hits in the contest, led by Christian and John Mitchell with three each. Christian finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Spencer Douches (3-0) got the win in relief for the Panthers after tossing the final two innings. Austin Fain went the first five innings and allowed four hits with three strikeouts. Jack Layrisson went 4-for-4 to lead the Panthers at the plate.
Covenant will host Sewanee for a mid-week contest on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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