Trailing 6-1, the Covenant baseball team rallied with five runs on six hits in the sixth inning but host Huntingdon went ahead for good in the following inning as the Hawks took game one of the three-game series 9-8 on Friday night at Posey Field.
The loss snaps a three-game win streak for the Scots (6-2, 3-1 USA South). Huntingdon improves to 10-5 overall and 6-1 in league play.
Pitching was in short supply on this night as the two teams combined for 17 runs on 21 hits. Covenant starter Micah Mabe lasted four innings and allowed five earned runs on eight hits. Jordan Lester (2-1) relieved Mabe and picked up his first loss of the year as he went four innings and surrendered two earned runs on two hits.
The Covenant bats were quieted through the first five innings by Huntingdon starter Joseph Fincher. The Scots managed just one run and one hit before the sixth inning as Fincher kept the potent Covenant offense at bay.
Trailing 6-1 heading into the top of the sixth, Covenant rallied to knot the score at 6-6. David Lockwood, Scott Gillespie and Perry Rigby started the frame with consecutive singles to load the bases. Will Carlton kept it going with a fourth straight single that allowed Lockwood to score making it 6-2. The four straight hits forced a Huntingdon pitching change.
After the pitching change, Forrest Hunter brought in two runs with a single down the left field line that scored both Gillespie and Rigby to cut the deficit to 6-4. Chris Rollins followed suit with a two-RBI single of his own to tie the score. In all, Covenant sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored five runs on six hits.
Huntingdon responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth. The Hawks loaded the bases with one out and then took advantage of a Scots fielding error and a passed ball to scratch three runs across and take a 9-6 lead.
Covenant answered with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but could not pull even. Carlton singled home Gillespie in the seventh. In the eighth, Hunter led off with a double and later scored on a throwing error by the Hawks catcher.
Rollins led the Covenant attack with a 3-for-4 effort with two RBIs and three steals. Gillespie and Carlton each went 2-for-5 while Gillespie scored a pair of runs and Carlton drove in two. Hunter finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Huntingdon reliever Dalton Dalrymple (1-0) gets credit for the win as he went two innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. Neil Lawler threw the final two innings and picked up his fourth save of the season.
Trammell DeJarnett and Will Pharis each had two hits for the Hawks. Pharis notched two RBIs.
Games two and three of the weekend series will be played on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. ET.