BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Covenant baseball team comeback fell just short to third-ranked Birmingham Southern, 7-6, on Tuesday night at Striplin Field.
Hunter Christian drew the leadoff walk in the top of the ninth and Ken Alexander reached on a dropped fly ball to score him and cut the lead to two. One batter later, Joseph Ridenour had a pinch-hit RBI groundout to trim the lead to one.
Robbie Lively then got Brett Kernodle to pop into a double play and the Panthers came away with the 7-6 victory.
Covenant (5-2) got the scoring started quickly posting three first-inning runs. Christian singled to right to score Brooks DuBose and Brock had a two-RBI single to take a 3-0 run.
Birmingham Southern (8-1) quickly answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half to take the lead for good.
Cole Steadman was hit by a pitch to score Luke DePiero and Will Toner had a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2. Cory Price wrapped up the scoring in the inning with a two-run double to left-center and the Panthers took a 4-3 lead.
The hosts added one more in the second on a Brian Williams sacrifice fly and Jack Fleming was hit by a pitch to score a run in the fourth to extend the lead to three.
The Scots cut into the lead in the fifth with a CJ Edmond RBI double to score Kernodle but Birmingham Southern added an insurance run in the eighth as Will Lantis came around to score on a wild pitch in what proved to be the game-winning run before the Covenant rally in the ninth.
Price went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Lantis had a 2-for-4 day for the Panthers.
Nick Pettit (0-2) got the start for the Scots but was chased out after 3.2 innings, giving up five hits, six earned runs, walked two batters, and struck out two. The Covenant bullpen combined for 4.1 innings only allowing two hits, one earned run, three walks, while striking out three.
Palmer Steventon started on the hill for the hosts going only two innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs, a walk, but struck out six. Oliver Livingston (1-0) came in relief and got the win working five innings, scattering three hits, one unearned run, and striking out three. John Paul Dobbs could not record an out for the Panthers giving up a hit, two runs (one earned), and walk. Lively picked up his first save of the season getting the final three outs of the contest without allowing a hit.
The Scots return home on Friday as they take on Emory at 2 p.m.
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