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Panthers stay hot with home win

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The red-hot LaGrange College Panthers took a break from conference play, and they overcame an early two-run deficit to handle visiting Roanoke (Va.) 7-4 on Wednesday afternoon.

The Panthers took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, and they were in front the rest of the way.

The Panthers thrived at the plate with 12 hits, and six pitchers combined to get the job done on the mound.

The Panthers improved to 10-4 while winning for the fifth time in six games.

LaGrange College returns to conference play with a three-game series at Huntingdon beginning on Friday.

The Panthers, who have won the past two USA South tournament titles under head coach David Kelton, will carry a 4-1 conference record into the Huntingdon series.

The Panthers, showing off the balance that makes them such a formidable offensive team, had hits from seven different players.

Cael Chatham, McKinley Erves, EJ Churchich, Austin McDade and Rhett Hollon each had two hits, and Joe ruth, Trey Pearce had hits as well.

Both of Hollon’s hits were doubles, and Chatham Erves and Churchich also had doubles.

Ruth and Churchich had two RBIs apiece, and Pearce and Jack Layrisson each drove in a run.

Michael Menheart started for the Panthers and gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings.

The next five pitchers combined to allow one run in 7 2/3 innings.

Anthony Elias relieved Menheart and settled things down by throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Coston Anderson, the winning pitcher, threw a 1 1/3 innings, and he gave up one run.

After Gibson Bittner didn’t allow a run in 1 2/3 innings, Tanner Chafin and Spencer Douches each tossed a scoreless inning to finish it.

The Panthers also played a clean game defensively without any errors, and they made some outstanding plays in the field.

Third baseman Cael Chatham had one of the plays of the game.

In the top of the fourth inning, Chatham made a diving stop on a hard-hit grounder, and he tossed a strike to first base for the third out.

The Panthers, after scoring single runs in the first and third innings, took control of the game with a five-spot in the bottom of the fifth.

Chatham got the rally started with a one-out single, and Erves followed with a double to the right-field fence to put men on second and third.

Ruth was hit by a pitch, and the bags were full of Panthers.

Next up was Churchich, and he drove the ball to the center-field fence for a two-run double, and the Panthers had the lead.

Pearce then bounced the ball into right field for an RBI single, and Layrisson’s sacrifice fly brought in another run to give the Panthers a 6-3 lead.

In the first inning, Ruth had an RBI single, and Hollon doubled and scored on a passed ball in the third inning.

The Panthers scored their final run on a bases-loaded walk by Ruth in the eighth inning.

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports

TENNIS: The LaGrange College men’s team made easy work of visiting Huntingdon on Wednesday in its USA South opener.

LaGrange College won all six of the singles matches, and the three doubles matches, to win 9-0.

Wednesday’s match was the start of a busy stretch for the Panthers, who’ll play four times in five days, all at home.

LaGrange College hosts Gordon College on Thursday before returning to conference play against Berea on Saturday.

LaGrange College will be at home again on Sunday against Maryville.

LaGrange College’s women’s team will also be at home against Gordon today and Maryville on Sunday.

Here are the results from Wednesday’s match with Huntingdon:

No. 1 singles – Will Thompson beat Mark Melchor, 6-2, 6-2

No. 2 singles – John Mitchell Bendon beat Carson Sands, 6-2, 6-1

No. 3 singles – Kyle Kelley beat Anjala Chandrasoma, 6-0, 6-0

No. 4 singles – Caleb Edde beat Clint Robinson, 6-1, 6-2

No. 5 singles – Caleb Tyler beat Kevaughnte Merrion, 6-1, 6-3

No. 6 singles – Daniel Assumpcao beat Charlie Jones, 6-0, 6-0

No. 1 doubles – John Mitchell Benton and Kyle Kelley beat Carson Sands and Anjala Chandrasoma, 8-1

No. 2 doubles – Will Thompson and Trevor McLemore beat Clint Robinson and Mark Melchor, 8-4

No. 3 doubles – Caleb Edde and Mathias Vera beat Domenic Terrell and Kevaughnte Merrion, 8-2