Baseball: James Poropatic powers Panthers past Maryville 11-8

Baseball: James Poropatic powers Panthers past Maryville 11-8

James Poropatic powered LaGrange past Maryville 11-8 on Sunday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. With the win, the Panthers (14-11, 4-5 USA South) were able to take the weekend USA South series from the Scots (18-5, 4-5 USA South) 2-1.

Poropatic tied his career high with four RBIs. He scored three runs, had a double, triple, and a home run to lead LC's 15-hit attack. Jack Layrisson and Jackson Patrick also had three hits. Layrisson had his team-leading fifth triple and drove in two runs. Patrick was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. 

Maryville took a 6-1 lead by the fourth inning. Panther miscues led to four of the six runs being unearned. Poropatic started LC's comeback with a home run to lead off the home half of the fourth. It was his third of the season. The Panthers added a second run in the inning on Patrick's opposite field double to score McKinley Erves to make it 6-3.

The Panthers exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-6 lead. Austin Jones' sacrifice fly and Dawson Weaver's safety squeeze brought in the first two runs of the inning. Poropatic came up with the bases loaded and two outs. He fouled off four straight pitches before clearing the bases with drive to the right field fence for a triple and an 8-6 lead. Layrisson capped the inning with an RBI single up the middle to make it 9-6.

The Scots got two runs back in the seventh on Johnny Carpenter's two-run home run off Gibson Bittner (2-0), who had relieved starter Austin Fain in the fourth. Bittner was relieved by Zach English, who finished the game. The Panthers answered with Rhett Mixon's run-scoring base hit for a 10-8 lead.

Poropatic made the defensive play of the game in the eighth. He made a diving catch in center of a sinking line drive by lead off batter Mike Homan. The play became a big one when the Scots loaded the bases with one out. But English struck out Andrew Henry, then got Carpenter to ground out for the third out. Poropatic doubled to lead off the Panthers' eighth inning and later scored on a wild pitch to up the lead to 11-8. English retired the Scots in order in the ninth for his third save of the season.

The Panthers host Berry on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a non-conference game.