Three different players recorded four RBIs, including Perry Rigby who launched a grand slam, to lead the Covenant baseball team to a 19-9 victory over Maryville in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. In the day's second game, Covenant could not hold an early 4-0 lead as Maryville rallied a 7-6 win.
The doubleheader split for Covenant moves the Scots to 22-13 overall on the season and 16-8 in USA South play. Maryville goes to 16-18 overall and 11-13 in league play.
Covenant is in a virtual tie for first place in the USA South with Ferrum as both teams have eight losses in conference action. Ferrum has completed its conference schedule, while Covenant hosts Averett next weekend for three games. The Scots hold the tiebreaker over Ferrum by virtue of taking two-of-three from the Panthers two weeks ago.
GAME ONE: Covenant 19, Maryville 9
David Lockwood and Will Carlton each had four hits and four RBIs in game one and Rigby added three hits and four RBIs. Carlton belted his third homer of the year in the fourth inning. Chris Rollins went 3-for-5 with three RBIs while KC Simons added two hits and two RBIs. Every Covenant starter recorded at least one hit and one run scored in the Scots' 19-run, 23-hit attack.
The offense came in support of Covenant starting pitcher Micah Mabe. Mabe (3-2) went six innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts. Jonah Paul threw 2.2 innings and surrendered two runs on five hits in relief of Taylor Bloye.
A day after getting shutout, Covenant wasted little time in getting on the board as they scored twice in the first inning. Lockwood and Rollins each had RBI singles in the inning. The Scots scored single runs in the third and fourth innings as Rollins lifted a sacrifice fly in the third and Carlton hit a solo homer in the fourth giving Covenant a 4-1 lead.
Covenant held a 4-2 lead heading into the sixth and added four runs in that inning, all coming on Rigby's grand slam. The homer for Rigby was his third of the season. The Scots took a 10-2 lead with two runs in the seventh as Carlton double home a run and Simons produced a run-scoring single.
Maryville scored five times in its half of the seventh to cut its deficit to 10-7, but Covenant answered with nine runs on seven hits in the top of the eighth to put the game away. Rollins and Will Cleland had RBI singles, Scott Gillespie and Simons tallied bases loaded walks and the nin-run inning was highlighted by a Carlton two-run single and a Lockwood three-run double.
Maryville starter Seth Debity (3-3) is tagged with the loss after lasting six innings and giving up eight runs, four earned, on 11 hits. Jacob Ashe went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the host Scots.
GAME TWO: Maryville 7, Covenant 6
Covenant grabbed a 4-0 lead after three innings, but Maryville scored six times in the fourth and would hold on in the ninth for a 7-6 victory.
Cleland and Carlton both homered for Covenant. Cleland finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, while Carlton went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Lockwood recorded two hits in four at-bats.
Like in game one, Covenant got on the board in the first inning. Rigby picked up his fifth RBI of the day with a run-scoring single that plated Cleland to give the Scots a 1-0 lead. In a two-run second inning, Carlton singled home Lockwood and Paul Phillips drove in Rollins with an RBI ground out that made it 3-0. A Cleland solo homer, his second of the year, in the third gave Covenant a 4-0 edge.
Maryville took the lead for good with six runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Garrett Gresham came through with a three-run triple to left-center field to give Maryville a 5-4 lead and then later scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4.
The Covenant offense had a difficult time getting anything going during the middle innings as Maryville starter Matt Dyer retired 15 straight at one point. Heading to the ninth, Covenant trailed 7-4 but cut the deficit to one after a Carlton two-run homer to right-center field, his fourth home run of the year. Dyer would complete the game, though, getting the final two outs.
Dyer (3-3) allowed six runs, four earned, on six hits with four strikeouts in his complete-game effort. Covenant starting pitcher Alhanon Miler (4-4) picked up the loss after giving up four earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Gresham went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Maryville offense.
Covenant will return home to face non-conference foe Tennessee Temple on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Scots will then host USA South foe Averett for three games starting on Friday at 4 p.m.