Baseball: LC sweeps doubleheader, series from Covenant

Photo by Jacob Krzysiak
Photo by Jacob Krzysiak

LaGrange swept a doubleheader from Covenant on Saturday at Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium. The No. 24 Panthers (18-6, 11-3) completed a sweep of the USA South series with the Scots by winning Game 1 6-2 and Game 2 5-4. LC now has a season-high five-game winning streak.

Game 1
Cael Chatham went 3-for-3 with three runs scored to help lead LC past the Scots (10-13, 4-7 USA South) in the first game. Joe Ruth had RBI singles in the first and third innings to put the Panthers up 2-0. In the fifth, McKinley Erves had a run-scoring single and E.J. Churchich drove in two runs with a two-out single as the Panthers stretched their lead to 5-0. Chatham scored on an error in the seventh for the Panthers' final run. Richie Post (4-0) threw six shutout innings to get the win. Post did not walk a batter and struck out nine. Tanner Chafin allowed two runs in three innings to earn his third save of the season.

Game 2
The Panthers built a 4-0 lead before Covenant came back to tie the game. LC pushed across the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Rhett Hollon had an opposite field double with one out. Jack Layrisson, who went 4-for-4, beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. Austin McDade executed a perfect squeeze bunt as Hollon came home to put LC up 5-4. Spencer Douches (3-0) got the first two outs in the ninth before the Scots put runners on first and third with back-to-back hits. But Douches got the final out on a strikeout. He came on in relief of Gibson Bittner in the eighth with the go-ahead run on third and just one out. Douches retired the first two batters he faced to get out of the inning. Austin Fain started and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing four hits. LC pitchers had 10 strikeouts in the game and finished with 35 in the series against only three walks. Ruth's two-run home run in the fifth put LC up 4-0. It was his first collegiate home run and the team's first at home this season. Ruth finished the series with eight RBIs to up his season total to a conference-leading 31.

The Panthers play at Berry in a non-conference game Tuesday.