Baseball: Panthers down Emory 9-4 in match up of nationally-ranked teams

Baseball: Panthers down Emory 9-4 in match up of nationally-ranked teams

ATLANTA, Ga. - LaGrange downed Emory 9-4 in a match up of nationally-ranked teams Tuesday at Chappell Park. The fifth-ranked Panthers (23-2) handed the third-ranked Eagles (17-5) their third straight loss, while stretching their winning streak to nine games.

LaGrange banged out 17 hits in the game. Casey Bell was one of four Panthers with three hits each in the game. Bell had a double included in his three hits and drove in four runs. Billy Peatross, Chad Pigg, and Tavin Thompson all had three hits. Blane Swift hit his second home run in as many games.

Thompson scored the first run of the game in the first inning on a passed ball. Emory came back with two runs off starter Josh Smith

In the third inning, Thompson led off with a triple to right center and scored on Bell's sacrifice bunt to tie the game 2-2. The Panthers took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth.

Swift led off the inning with his home run to left field to break the tie. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bell singled to the opposite field to drive in two runs to make it 5-2.

After the Eagles got two runs in the fifth to make it a one-run game, the Panthers answered with three more runs in the sixth.

Bell had a run-scoring double in the inning. Blake Butcher's sacrifice fly brought in the second run, and Peatross capped the inning with an RBI single to put the Panthers up 8-4.

LaGrange added an insurance run in the ninth. Jackson Patrick led off the inning with a single and P.J. Klein came on as a pinch runner. Klein moved over to third on a sacrifice and a ground out, then scored on a wild pitch for the 9-4 lead.

Austin Brown (3-0) got the win in relief of Smith. He pitched 1-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Austin Perez got the final out in the fifth, then threw three more scorless innings, allowing a hit and striking out five. Jonathan Fleckenstein blanked the Eagles in the ninth to close out the game.

The Panthers host Hampden-Sydney in a three-game non-conference series starting Friday. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.