Cain Sauls' walk off bunt single gave LaGrange a 2-1 win over N.C. Wesleyan on Friday in the USA South Tournament at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.
Sauls' hit puts the Panthers (34-4) into Saturday's championship game at 12 p.m. N.C. Wesleyan (24-15) will face the Piedmont-Greensboro winner in an elimination game later Friday.
LaGrange's Richie Post and N.C. Wesleyan's Nate Garnder locked up in a pitcher's duel. Post gave up a run in seven innings of work. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Gardner (3-3) pitched into the ninth, giving up the two runs and struck out five. Austin Perez (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Post, pitching the final two innings.
Tavin Thompson led off the ninth for the Panthers with a single and moved up on a sacrifice by Casey Bell. Blake Butcher was intentionally walked and Blane Swift's base hit loaded the bases. Sauls pushed a bunt between the pitcher's mound and first as Thompson scored the winning run without a play at the plate.
Thompson's RBI single in the third brought in Jackson Patrick with the game's first run. The Bishops tied the game in the fifth, where it stayed until the ninth.