Baseball: Panthers rout Piedmont to reach GSAC tournament final round
LaGrange routed Piedmont 18-5 on Saturday night in the GSAC tournament in Williamson Stadium at Cleaveland Field. The win puts the Panthers (16-26) in the final round against Huntingdon on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Panthers will have to beat the top-seeded Hawks twice to claim their fourth GSAC tournament championship. Huntingdon reached the final round with a 13-9 win over Piedmont in 13 innings in the first game of the day.
LaGrange rallied to down Maryville 6-4 in the second game of the day, eliminating the Scots from the tournament. The Panthers led 3-1 before the Scots scored three runs in the seventh inning to go up 4-3.
The Panthers answered the Scots in the top of the eighth inning. They loaded the bases on walks to Jon Brock, David Miller and Josh Shiver. Brent Kinsey delivered a two-out two-run single up the middle to put the Panthers up 5-4.
LaGrange added an insurance run in the ninth. Brock kept the inning going with a two-out walk and moved up on a passed ball. Anthony Iannetta drove in Brock with his second hit of the game for a 6-4 lead.
Kenneth Strack (3-2) gave up a lead off single in the bottom of the ninth. The Panthers turned their third double play of the game and Strack got the final out to nail down the win.
Strack pitched three innings of scoreless relief. He gave up two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one.
Robby Williams started and pitched into the seventh inning. Williams allowed four runs of which three were earned. He scattered nine hits, walked two and struck out five.
In the nightcap, the Panthers avenged an 8-4 loss to the second-seeded Lions on Friday. Piedmont took a 1-0 lead in the first off starter Tyler Brooks (3-1).
Brooks settled down after the first, allowing only one more run over the next five innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out five.
LaGrange came back with a run in the first and another in the second to go up 2-1. They broke the game open over the next three innings, scoring 14 runs to build a 16-2 lead.
Matt Steele closed out the game after entering the game to start the seventh. He gave up three runs on seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck six.
The Panthers set a season-high with 21 hits. Shiver was one of three Panthers with four hits in the game. The junior third baseman drove in five runs and scored four more. David Miller and Brandon Espinosa also had four hits. Espinosa had a triple included in his hits.
Cameron Eison went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Brock was 1-for-3, walked four times and scored five runs. In the two games as leadoff batter Saturday, he scored eight runs and walked six times.