Baseball: Maryville edges Panthers in marathon 15-inning game; winning streak ends at 14

Baseball: Maryville edges Panthers in marathon 15-inning game; winning streak ends at 14

LaGrange's 14-game winning streak came to an end as Maryville edged the Panthers 6-5 in 15 innings Sunday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.

The Panthers are now 27-11 overall and finished tied for second with N.C. Wesleyan at 13-5 in USA South play. Maryville, salvaging one game of the three-game series, is 25-13 and 10-8 in conference play.

The game was the longest in the Panthers' baseball history. The 15 innings eclipsed the record of 13 which was done twice, the last time in 2011 also against Maryville.

The game lasted over four hours. The two teams used a total of 10 pitchers and 41 players overall in the game. There were 400 pitches thrown in the contest. 

The Panthers fell behind 3-0 after five innings. They cut the deficit to 3-2 in the sixth on an RBI single by Blake Butcher, followed by Blane Swift's run-scoring triple.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Panthers tied the game up. Cain Sauls led off the inning with a single and James Poropatic entered the game as a pinch runner. Poropatic stole second, moved over to third on a ground out and scored on Joe Pradat's infield single.

The game remained tied until the 13th inning. The Scots got two runs off Zach Tatham in the top of the inning to take a 5-3 lead.

But the Panthers fought back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Jacob Gassert led off the inning with a double. After Keith Sims was hit by a pitch, Gassert came home as Tavin Thompson reached on an error. Sims was thrown out at home on Casey Bell's bunt attempt for the second out of the inning. Elijah Brague kept the game going with a single through the left side to drive in Thompson with the tying run.

Maryville pushed across the go-ahead run in the 15th off Josh Smith (1-2) to take a 6-5 lead. Jordan Norton (2-0) retired the Panthers in order to end the game.

Andrew Weekley started for the Panthers and went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Jonathan Fleckenstein and Blake Schuck followed with seven innings of scoreless relief, with Fleckenstein pitching four of the innings. The two allowed only two hits in the seven innings.

The Panthers close out the regular season Tuesday when they host No. 7 Emory at 7 p.m. They open play in the USA South Tournament in Wilson, N.C. on Thursday. The Panthers are seeded second and will play seventh-seeded Huntingdon at 4:30 p.m.