Baseball: Seventh-ranked Panthers sweep USA South doubleheader from Averett

Baseball: Seventh-ranked Panthers sweep USA South doubleheader from Averett

Seventh-ranked LaGrange ran its winning streak to seven games with a sweep of Averett in a USA South doubleheader Sunday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.

The Panthers won the first game 12-2 and the second 17-2 in seven innings. The two wins upped LC's season record to 21-2 and 10-1 in USA South play.

LaGrange set a USA South team game record with 10 doubles in the first game, breaking the previous mark of nine set five times. The Panthers were two short of tying the NCAA Division III record of 12.

The Panthers' first five batters in the lineup combined for 13 hits, including all 10 doubles, eight runs, and eight RBIs. Tavin Thompson and Cain Sauls each had three doubles. Sauls and Casey Bell both drove in three runs. LC finished the game with 18 hits.

Ryan Broaderick (4-0) went six innings to get the win. He gave up both Averett runs, only one was earned, while walking two and striking out four. Dax Winningham and Adam DeWitt combined for three scoreless innings of relief pitching.

The Panthers led 3-2 going to the bottom of the fifth inning. They opened the inning with back-to-back-to-back doubles by Blake Butcher, Sauls, and Swift. James Poropatic tripled with the bases loaded to drive in three runs and later scored on Bell's RBI single to cap the six-run inning and a 9-2 lead. 

Bell added a two-run double in the seventh, along with Sauls' RBI double for the 12-2 final.

Averett (5-17, 1-7 USA South) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning off Andrew Weekley. Weekley pitched six innings to raise his record to 5-1. He gave up four hits, walked one, and struck out three.

The Panthers answered in the bottom of the second with seven runs. Butcher had two-run single and Swift highlighted the inning with a triple to drive in two more runs.

Leading 10-2, LC had its second seven-run rally of the game in the sixth. Poropatic had another bases clearing triple, and Butcher drove in the final two runs with a triple of his own.

Butcher finished the game with four hits, including two triples, scored two runs and had five RBIs. Bell had three hits as the Panthers had 17 in the game.

The two teams complete their series Monday at 1 p.m.