Baseball: Late home run lifts Piedmont past Panthers
Curtis Cornett's two-run home run in the eighth inning lifted Piedmont to a 3-1 win over LaGrange on Friday in Williamson Stadium at Cleaveland Field. The Panthers fell to 13-22 overall and 4-6 in the GSAC with their fifth straight loss.
Piedmont stopped a three-game losing streak with the win. The Lions are 24-14 overall and evened their GSAC record at 5-5.
LaGrange's Mason Webster (2-6) and Piedmont's Kevin Caldwell (7-3) locked up in a pitcher's duel. Webster went 7-1/3 innings, allowing the three runs of six hits, while walking one and striking seven. Caldwell pitched seven innings, allowing a run, walking three and striking out six.
Piedmont scored the game's first run in the second inning. Garrett Lovelace walked to start the inning. Tim Nunez went the opposite way with a two-out double down the right field line to score Lovelace and give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
After stranding a runner at third in the third inning, the Panthers tied the game in their half of the fourth inning. David Miller opened the inning with a double to the left field fence. He moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Brock and scored on Cameron Eison's two-out line drive hit to center field to make it 1-1.
The Lions broke the tie in the eighth inning. Josh Bailey doubled to the gap in right center with one out. Cornett followed with his third home run of the season over the left field fence to put the Lions up 3-1 and knock Webster from the game.
Kenneth Strack pitched the final four outs for the Panthers. He retired all five batters he faced, striking out three. Ed Cook retired the Panthers in order in the eighth and ninth innings to record his 10th save of the season.
The two teams continue their weekend series Saturday at 2 p.m.