LaGrange celebrated Senior Day by cruising past Belhaven 9-1 at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium on Saturday. The Panthers finished the regular season 28-16, winning 21 of their final 27 games. LC now awaits where it will be headed for the NCAA Division III regional next month.
Nine seniors were honored in a pre-game ceremony: Collin Barrett, Zach English, Austin Jones, Jackson Patrick, Austin Perez, Grant Perry, James Poropatic, Dustin Tardy, and Trey Ward. They have been a part of 111 wins over their four years, back-to-back USA South Tournament championships, and are headed to a second straight NCAA regional.
Barrett, Perez, and English held the Blazers to five hits in the game. The trio did not walk a batter and combined for 12 strikeouts. Barrett (7-4) pitched the first 5-1/3 innings to take over the team lead in wins. He gave up the one run on three hits, while striking out five. Perez went the next 1-1/3 innings, giving up a hit and striking out three. English, making his NCAA Division III leading 26th appearance, finished up with 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing a hit and striking four.
Offensively, the Panthers had 16 hits in the game. Jones, Patrick, and Poropatic accounted for eight of the hits. Jones and Poropatic each had three hits. Jacob Gassert, Jack Layrisson, and Dawson Weaver all had two hits. Layrisson also drove in two runs, while Weaver had a double included in his two hits.
The Panthers gave Barrett all the runs he needed in the first inning. LC sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring six times for a 6-0 lead. McKinley Erves had an RBI double in the inning. The Panthers added a run in the third and two more in the fifth to close out their scoring.