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Late Rallies Push No. 17 Piedmont Past Baseball

Hunter Christian
Hunter Christian (photo credit: Nina Grauley/ Sports Information)

DEMOREST, Ga. -- The Covenant baseball team could not hold two late leads as the Scots fell twice to No. 17 Piedmont, 6-5 and 16-10, to conclude the weekend series at Loudermilk Field.

Covenant (12-18, 5-12 USA South) had a lead in the eighth inning in both games, but could not hold off Piedmont (24-6, 14-3 USA South).

GAME ONE: Piedmont 6, Covenant 5

Covenant grabbed a 5-2 lead with a four-run sixth inning, but Piedmont scored four times in the bottom of the eight to rally for a 6-5 victory in Saturday's first game.

The Scots out-hit the Lions, 11-9, led by two hits apiece from Brett Kernodle, Alex Gonzalez, and CJ Edmond. Coupled with a strong start from Andrew Cline and the Scots took a lead into the eighth inning.

Down 2-1 in the sixth, the Scots scored four times to take a 5-2 lead. John Mitchell delivered an RBI single that plated Hunter Christian and Brooks DuBose followed with another run-scoring single to give Covenant a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, Tommy Easley produced an RBI ground out and Kernodle capped the inning with an RBI double to make it 5-2.

In the eighth, Piedmont answered. Tyler Burdette got the host Lions within a run with his two-run triple, and then an Evan Meade RBI single and a Kyle DeJesus sacrifice fly gave Piedmont a 6-5 lead.

Cline went 7.1 innings in his start and allowed two earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Matt Reitz (2-5) got the loss in relief and throwing two-thirds of an inning and allowing two runs on two hits.

Piedmont starter Ryan Cox went five innings and was touched up for four runs on eight hits. David Craft (2-1) received the win after going three innings and allowing one unearned run. Matt Vonderschmidt collected his seventh save of the year.

Andrew Burden went 3-for-3 for Piedmont, while Meade was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

GAME TWO: Piedmont 16, Covenant 10

An eight-run eighth inning for Piedmont erased Covenant's 10-8 lead as the Lions completed the sweep with a 16-10 victory.

Covenant had 14 hits in the contest, including Gonzalez's 3-for-5 and three RBI game, while Tyler Moore, Mitchell, DuBose, and Easley all had two hits each.

The Scots grabbed a 6-4 lead in the sixth with four runs. Lewis Saunders, DuBose, and Easley all had RBI singles in the inning. After Piedmont scored four times in the seventh to regain the lead at 8-6, Covenant was at it again with a four-run eighth inning. Gonzalez had the big hit in the eighth as he singled home two runs to give the Scots a 10-8 lead.

However, in the bottom of the eighth Piedmont sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on six hits. Burdette's two-run double in the inning broke a 10-10 tie and gave the Lions the lead for good.

Piedmont had 16 hits as Brady Ballstadt went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Vonderschmidt (3-1) got the win in relief after going the final 1.2 innings.

Conor Austin (0-4) picked up the loss for the Scots. Covenant used a bullpen game as Tyrique Wilmore went one inning in his start and was followed by five relievers.

UP NEXT

Covenant will travel to face Sewanee on Tuesday, April 9 at 3 p.m. CDT (4 p.m. EDT). The Scots' game at Birmingham Southern has been cancelled.

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