Baseball: Panthers sweep visiting Virginia Wesleyan 6-5 and 8-3

Photo by Jacob Krzysiak
Photo by Jacob Krzysiak

LaGrange swept a doubleheader from visiting Virginia Wesleyan on Friday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers (4-2) got a walk-off hit to win Game 1 6-5, then completed the sweep with an 8-3 victory in Game 2.

Freshman outfielder Joe Ruth had five hits, including a double, and drove in five runs in the two games. Fellow freshman Cael Chatham had a double included in his four hits to go with two RBIs. Austin McDade had two doubles and three RBIs in the first game, then had a run-scoring single in the second game.

Game 1
The Panthers rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to take the first game. Ruth opened the inning with a single and moved up to second on a passed ball, then third on E.J. Churchich's sacrifice bunt. McDade followed with a long double to left center to drive in Ruth with the tying run. Liam Carbone's single put runners on the corners. Drew Weaver dropped a bunt in front of the plate as McDade came in with the winning run.

Spencer Douches (1-0) got the win in relief. He threw 4-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and struck out five. 

Game 2
LC broke a 3-3 tie with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to finish the sweep. Judd Moore started the inning with a triple to right center and Ruth followed with a double into the left field corner to drive in the go-ahead run. After pinch-hitter Trey Robinson was hit by a pitch, Ryan Ross' sacrifice fly scored Ruth to make it 5-3. Robinson later scored on McDade's base hit to up the lead to three runs. Chatham capped the inning with a two-run double to the gap in left for an 8-3 lead.

Tanner Chafin (1-1) retired the Marlins in order in the ninth to get the win. J.R. Robinson started for the Panthers. Robinson went 7-1/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. 

The teams conclude the three-game series Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.