HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. - LaGrange hung on for a heart-stopping 2-1 win over Alvernia at the Holly Springs Regional on Friday. The win keeps the Panthers (29-17) alive in the regional, while eliminating the Golden Wolves (28-15). LC will face the College of New Jersey-Christopher Newport loser Saturday at 3 p.m.
Senior Collin Barrett (8-4) came within an out of throwing a complete game. Barrett overcame getting hit in the leg in the second inning to allow just an unearned run. Barrett scattered eight hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out one.
Barrett got the first out of the ninth on the first pitch of the inning. Right fielder Rhett Mixon made a diving catch to rob Nathan Sides of an extra base hit for the second out. The play loomed large as the Wolves got back-to-back hits to put runners at second and third. Zach English relieved Barrett and got Francis Esposito to ground out to Dawson Weaver at second for the final out to pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Panthers pushed across a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to take a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, McKinley Erves was a hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Rhett Mixon, who had led off the inning with a single. Jackson Patrick walked to lead off the fifth and moved up to second on Rhett Hollon's sacrifice bunt. Weaver tripled to right center to drive in Patrick with the Panthers' second run.
Alvernia got a run back with the help of an error in the eighth. The Wolves got within a run with a wild pitch and an error on the play to make it 2-1. Barrett picked off Connor Boyle at second for the first out of the inning, then retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.