Baseball: Panthers sweep No. 10 Huntingdon to take USA South series

Baseball: Panthers sweep No. 10 Huntingdon to take USA South series

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - LaGrange battered No. 10 Huntingdon 14-11 and 17-3 in a USA South doubleheader Saturday at Posey Field. The Panthers (12-5, 6-2 USA South) handed the Hawks (14-2, 6-2 USA South) their first two losses of the season in taking the weekend series.

The Panthers had 33 hits that included 17 extra base hits. LC tied a school NCAA era record with four home runs in a 5-4 loss Friday. The Panthers hit four more home runs Saturday. LC has 10 home runs on the season, all on the road. 

"I'm very proud of how we responded after a tough loss Friday," Coach David Kelton said. "The pitchers did a great job in all three games and really set the tone for the weekend. We really hit the ball well and we did a great job driving in runs that were in scoring position. I'm very proud of how we played on the road in a tough environment."

Game 1
The Panthers banged out 18 hits, including three home runs in handing the Hawks their first loss of the season. Joe Ruth had five hits, including two doubles, scored three runs and drove in another three runs. Rhett Hollon hit his first home run as a Panther and had three RBIs. Trey Pearce hit his second home run in as many days, while Braden Shealy hit a pinch-hit home run for the first of his career. The Panthers scored at least a run in each of the first seven innings to build a 14-6 lead. Gibson Bittner (1-3) pitched five innings of relief to get the win. Bittner allowed five runs in the ninth before Tanner Chaffin got the final out.

Game 2
LC completed the sweep with the second game rout that ended in the eighth on the 12-run mercy rule. The Panthers had 15 hits, including a season-high seven doubles, in the game, with every starter having at least one hit. They took advantage of four errors and 10 walks issued by Huntingdon pitching. Jack Layrisson drove in five runs with a double and his third home run of the series. McKinley Erves had three hits, scored four runs, and had two RBIs. Joe Ruth also scored four runs and had two hits and RBIs each. Austin Fain (2-0) allowed two run in 4-2/3 innings to get the win. Tanner Chafin finished the final 3-1/3 innings, giving up an unearned run to earn his first save of the season.

Pearce went 6-for-9 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the series. Ruth batted .538 with five RBIs and leads the USA South with 23 RBIs. The Panthers host Emory in a non-conference game Wednesday at 7 p.m.