LaGrange crushed Belhaven 19-1 to gain a split of a doubleheader Friday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers (27-16) bounced back from a 6-3 loss to the Blazers (12-23) in the first game.
The Panthers used an eight-run second inning to break the second game open. Jack Layrisson capped the scoring for the Panthers with a grand slam home as part of a six-run fifth inning. LC finished the game with 16 hits. Rhett Mixon had four hits and scored four runs. Layrisson and Jacob Gassert each had two hits and four RBIs. The Panthers benefitted from five errors by the Blazers that led to eight unearned runs. LC did not commit an error in both games and has had only three in the past six games. Senior Dustin Tardy (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win, going six innings. He allowed the one run on three hits, walked three, and struck out four. Anthony Elias pitched a scoreless seventh inning to close out the game.
In the first game, LC trailed 2-1 going to the bottom of the fourth inning. The Panthers regained the lead as McKinley Erves and Rhett Hollon had run scoring singles for a 3-2 lead. The Blazers came back with four runs off starter Austin Fain (6-3) and reliever Gibson Bittner to take the lead for good, 6-3. Tanner Chafin threw two shutout innings in relief of Bittner. Mixon and Layrisson had two hits each for the Panthers, who finished with nine hits.
The Panthers will celebrate Senior Day on Saturday against Belhaven. Game time is 1 p.m. Nine seniors will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony starting at 12:30 p.m.