No. 4 LaGrange College takes series from North Carolina Wesleyan with 15-9 rubber game victory
Published 7:40 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023
From LaGrange College athletics
No. 4 LaGrange (8-3, 0-0 CCS) pounded the ball early and often and took advantage of four errors as they took the rubber game from North Carolina Wesleyan (9-3, 0-0 USA South) with a 15-9 victory in an NCAA Division III baseball game on Sunday, March 5.
The Panthers would waste no time jumping out ahead on NCWU as they hammered out eight runs on just six hits over the first three innings. That would see freshman catcher Curt Bonner (Cartersville, Ga.) punch an RBI single through the left side in the first and a pair of run scoring knocks by freshman shortstop Jackson McElvy (Kennesaw, Ga.) and senior outfielder Rhett Mixon (Loganville, Ga.) in the second.
It would be a 3-2 advantage with Zach Lyon doubling home a run in the top of the second and Davie Morgan adding a sacrifice fly in the third. The home half of the frame would see LaGrange open it up with five runs on only two hits – both singles – and three errors to extend the lead to 8-2.
Three runs in the fifth would pull the Battling Bishops to within three but Ruth and Bonner would quickly erase those gains with a two-RBI triple and RBI single to center, respectively, in the bottom of the fifth. That pushed the lead to 11-5 and a seventh inning error with the bases loaded deepened the hole at eight runs. From there the Panthers would go on to close out the 15-9 victory and claim the series.
North Carolina Wesleyan would get a 3-for-5 day with three RBIs and a run from Lyon and Javier Quintana was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of walks. Tyson Bass went 2-for-6 with an RBI and run scored while Luke Chung, Morgan and Alex Moskal each had an RBI. Hobbs would go 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a walk and two runs and Cord Butler was rocked for seven runs, three earned, in just 2.2 innings. He falls to 2-1 on the year.
Mixon delivered a 2-for-4 day that included a double, four RBIs, two walks and a run scored to lead LaGrange while Bonner was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, three walks and a pair of runs. Ruth ripped a triple as part of a 2-for-5, two RBI, two run, one walk day and sophomore outfielder Jorge Fragoso (East Point, Ga.) was 2-for-5 with two runs, a walk and an RBI.
Junior pitcher Ethan Fry (Kennesaw, Ga.) lasted six innings, allowing five runs and six hits against seven strikeouts. That effort was good enough to pick up the victory and move to 2-1 on the season.
LaGrange returns to the field tomorrow, Monday, March 6 when they take on Wittenberg for the first time in program history. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.