LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Andrew Cline tossed a complete-game and the Covenant baseball team never trailed as the No. 8 seeded Scots took down No. 1 seed Piedmont, 7-2, in the USA South Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Cleaveland Field.
Covenant (17-20) moves on to the winners' bracket and will take on No. 5 seed N.C. Wesleyan on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Cleaveland Field in LaGrange, Ga. It is the first time in the USA South Tournament since 2016 that the No. 8 seed defeated the No. 1 seed in the opening round (Averett over Ferrum).
Cline (5-3) was masterful in his second complete-game of the season. The sophomore right-hander tossed 123 pitches and allowed two runs on seven hits to go along with seven strikeouts.
The Scots got production from all over the lineup. Andrew Brock had two hits and collected his first two RBIs of the season, while Joseph Ridenour delivered a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single in the eighth inning to extend the Scots' lead to 7-2.
Covenant scored three runs in the second inning off Piedmont ace Sam Carpenter. Tommy Easley and Brooks DuBose singled to load the bases with nobody out. Ken Alexander lifted a sacrifice fly to put the Scots on the board before Brock produced his first RBI single to make it 2-0. Tyler Moore capped the inning with another sacrifice fly as the Scots grabbed a 3-0 lead.
The lead extended in the third inning with two more runs. John Mitchell doubled with one out and stole third before scoring on Brock's second RBI single. Moore then made it 5-0 with his run-scoring single.
Cline took care of business through the middle innings. Piedmont threatened with runners at first and second in both the second and fourth innings, but Cline got out of the jams in each inning.
Piedmont (29-8) scored twice in the seventh to trim the Scots' lead to 5-2. Tyler Sheley tripled home a run and Cameron Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly.
However, in the eighth the Scots got two runs back. Covenant loaded the bases on three walks before Ridenour recorded his first career RBIs with a two-run single to score both Alex Gonzalez and Moore to make it 7-2.
Cline then retired the final six hitters he faced over the last two innings to complete the win.
Moore went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while DuBose was 2-for-4 with two runs and Brock was 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Carpenter (8-1) gets his first loss of the season after going seven innings and allowing five runs, three earned. Seven different players recorded a hit for the Lions.
Covenant will face N.C. Wesleyan on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in a winners' bracket game.
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