Covenant College Scots open promising baseball season with win

Covenant College Scots open promising baseball season with win

February 19th, 2014 by Staff Report in Sports - College

Covenant College stole a victory in its baseball season opener Monday against Bates College in Rome, Ga. With 16 stolen bases, including five by Will Cleland, the Scots came from behind and won 10-8.

Will Carlton's two-run double in the eighth inning put Covenant ahead, and versatile senior Chris Rollins got the first pitching win of his college career with two innings of relief as the Scots' sixth man on the mound. Cleland was 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored, and Carlton was 1-for-2 with three walks, two RBIs and three runs.

Newcomer catcher Forrest Hunter batted in two runs and Scott Gillespie was 2-for-5 with an RBI for the Scots.

The Maine school had four-run innings in the second and fifth, good for 4-1 and 8-5 leads. Nate Pajka was 2-for-4 with a home run.

Covenant set a modern-era program record with 28 wins last year and returns seven position starters and its weekend pitching rotation in former major leaguer Doug Simons' eighth year as coach. The Scots hit .303 as a team last season.

Gillespie batted .359 with 38 RBIs and Cleland hit .347 with 23 RBIs, while David Lockwood hit .349 with 37 RBIs and went into Tuesday's game with a .344 career average. Perry Rigby batted .319 with 44 RBIs as a freshman.

Going into USA South conference play, Covenant has proven starting pitchers in junior left-hander Micah Mabe and right-handers Garrett Kriston and Alhanon Miller, none of whom pitched Tuesday. Mabe went 7-3 with a 2.43 earned run average last year, with 13 strikeouts in one game, while Kriston was 5-3 with a 3.41 ERA and Miller was 7-2 with a 2.92 ERA and a .199 opponents' batting average.

Chattanooga State's scheduled games Tuesday at West Georgia Tech were postponed like the Tigers' weekend games at East Georgia Community College.

• Tennessee Wesleyan 7, Martin Methodist 6: At Athens, the host Bulldogs won with a 10th-inning run.

Tim Kiene and Shell McCain each had three hits, McCain with a triple, and Logan Dalton and James Boddicker each was 2-for-4 with a home run, scoring four and two runs, for Wesleyan. Logan Longwith and winner Tyler Wilson pitched the final three innings with no runs and one hit allowed apiece.

Brandon Bush was 3-for-5 and Seth Staggs was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for Martin Methodist.

• Bryan 5, Hiwassee 0: At Dayton, the Lions' Chad Burrows and Brannon Shortt combined to pitch a four-hitter, Burrows striking out six batters in seven innings, and Cody Rhinehart, Kevin Roberts and Preston King had RBIs. Joey Underwood was 2-for-4 for Bryan; Alex Huddleston was 2-for-4 for the Tigers.