Baseball: Panthers pick up first wins of 2018 with sweep of Sewanee

Baseball: Panthers pick up first wins of 2018 with sweep of Sewanee

Tenth-ranked LaGrange bounced back from an opening day loss with a sweep of Sewanee on Saturday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers (2-1) held on a for a 5-4 win in Game 1, then blanked the Tigers (1-2) 6-0 in Game 2 to complete the sweep.

Freshman designated hitter McKinley Erves had two hits, including a double, and three RBIs in the first game. Senior James Poropatic sparked the Panthers in the second game with a double and triple, while driving in two runs.

The Panthers got quality starting pitching from senior Colin Barrett and sophomore Anthony Elias. Barrett allowed a run in six innings to pick up the win in the first game. Elias did not allow a run in 4-2/3 innings of work. In the three game series, the Panthers' starting pitching surrendered just one run in 16-2/3 innings.

Game 1
Sewanee got first inning run off Barrett to go up 1-0. LC tied the game in the third on Erves' run-scoring single. He doubled in two runs to cap a four-run fourth inning as the Panthers went up 5-1. 

The Tigers got a run in the eighth, then added two more in the ninth to make it a one-run game. Austin Fain got the final out of the game to get the save. He gave up an RBI single to Chris McNulty after relieving Coston Anderson before snaring Drew Mancusco's line drive for the third out.

Game 2
The Panthers got all the runs they needed with a three-run first inning. Jacob Gassert led off with a double, moved over to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Erve's base hit up the middle. Poropatic's two-out two-run triple put LC up 3-0.

The Panthers added a run in the fifth. Jack Layrisson tripled to left center and came home on a wild pitch to make it 4-0. In the eighth, Ryan Ross scored on a wild pitch and Jack Fink was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to up the Panthers' lead to 6-0.

Elias worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first to keep the Tigers off the board. He gave way to Gibson Bittner with runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth. Bittner (1-0) got the final out, then threw three shutout innings to get the win. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Zach English threw a scoreless ninth inning to close out the victory.

LC had 10 hits in the game. Fink, Poropatic, and Dawson Weaver each had two hits.

The Panthers host Emory on Tuesday at 5 p.m.