Alex Gonzalez hit his first collegiate home run and the Covenant baseball team's pitching staff held off Elmira for a 4-3 victory on Monday evening at the LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson.
The game was originally scheduled for Lookout Mountain, but was moved to a turf field at LakePoint due to wet field conditions and fog.
The win snaps a brief, two-game skid for Covenant (2-5), while it was the season-opener for Elmira (0-1).
Covenant led 4-3 in the top of the ninth and Elmira had a chance to tie the game but Sam Plaugher was cut down trying to score from third on a wild pitch.
Taylor Bloye then got out of a jam as he got pinch-hitter Nate Hanner to ground out with a runner at second to end the game.
Gonzalez had two hits on the day, including his first career homer. The freshman slammed an 0-1 pitch from Elmira starter Conor Bauwiec over the fence in left field giving the Scots a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning. Gonzalez, Caleb Bloye and Joel Johnson all had two hits apiece for the Scots on the day.
Covenant would need that extra run from Gonzalez as Elmira scored twice in the fifth, both coming off the bat of Eddie O'Donnell and his two-run home run to left field, to make it a 4-3 game.
The Scots bullpen did the rest of the work and preserved the win. Conor Austin tossed a scoreless seventh inning and Andrew Cline had a perfect eighth to set the stage for Taylor Bloye in the ninth.
Bloye allowed a leadoff single and a wild pitch moved Plaugher, who was pinch-running, to second with nobody out. Bloye struck out the next batter, but a one-out single put runners at the corners. Bloye's pitch to Hanner got to the backstop, but ricocheted back to catcher Ken Alexander who caught Plaugher in a rundown between third and home. Bloye then got Hanner to bounce out to end the game.
Elmira took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bawiec helped his cause with an RBI single to center field. The Scots responded with three runs in the third as Johnson ripped a two-run triple to right-center field that plated Caleb Bloye and Trenton Nobles before Tyler Moore hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Johnson for a 3-1 lead.
Tristen Green made the start for the Scots and went two innings allowing one unearned run on one hit. Adam Carver notched his first collegiate win after throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two.
Bawiec (0-1) went six innings on the mound for the Soaring Eagles and allowed four runs on six hits with nine strikeouts. Seven different players recorded one hit for Elmira.
Covenant opens up USA South play on Friday by hosting LaGrange for a three-game series. Friday's opener is set for 2 p.m.