Baseball: Panthers bang out 20 hits in beating Maryville 14-6, winning streak reaches 13 games

Baseball: Panthers bang out 20 hits in beating Maryville 14-6, winning streak reaches 13 games

LaGrange banged out a season-high 20 hits in beating Maryville 14-6 in a USA South game Friday night at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.

The Panthers also tied their season best in runs scored as they improved to 26-10 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The win was the 13th straight for the Panthers, tying for the second longest in the NCAA era of the program.

Junior Blake Butcher had five hits in the game raising his team and conference leading batting average to .421. He also had three RBIs, tying Maryville's Chris Ervin for the conference lead with 40. Butcher is batting .519, with three home runs and 18 RBIs during the Panthers' winning streak.

The Panthers built a 4-0 lead through three innings. Eric Morell retired the Scots in order the first three innings. But the Scots (24-12, 9-7 USA South) got a run in fourth, and helped by two Panther errors in the fifth scored four more times to take a 5-4 lead.

Morell (8-1) went five innings and picked up the win. He allowed five runs, four earned, while walking none and striking out three. Jonathan Fleckenstein gave up a run in two innings of work, striking out three. Blake Schuck closed out the game with two scoreless innings, also striking out three.

The Panthers answered Maryville with four runs in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the sixth to reclaim the lead for good. Butcher had a run-scoring double in the fifth and beat out an infield hit in the sixth to drive in another run. The Panthers added a run in the seventh and another in the eighth for the 14-6 final.

Every Panther starter had at least one hit. Chad Pigg had three hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. Casey Bell had a double included in his three hits and two RBIs. Joe Pradat was 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Keith Sims added two doubles and two RBIs.

The two teams continue their series Saturday at 2 p.m. It will be Senior Day for Morell, Schuck, Sims, and Zach Tatham.