No. 8/9 LaGrange Drops 7-4 Berry Decision to Berry In Non-Conference Action

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

No. 8/9 LaGrange (18-7, 6-0 CCS) would take the early lead only to get shutdown over the final seven innings as they dropped a 7-4 decision to Berry (11-17, 4-5 SAA) in an NCAA Division III baseball game on Tuesday, April 4.

The Panthers would jump out ahead early with a pair of two-run innings over the first two frames to take a 4-0 lead. Sophomore outfielder Jorge Fragoso (East Point, Ga.) would draw a one-out walk in the first with senior third baseman Joe Ruth (Chiefland, Fla.) following with an RBI triple to the right centerfield gap for the first run.

Freshman outfielder Curt Bonner (Cartersville, Ga.) then grounded out to short to score Ruth before junior catcher David Smigelski (Woodstock, Ga.) lined a double to left center. He would move to third on a balk and junior designated hitter Brooks Short (Auburn, Ala.) followed with a walk before the Vikings escaped any further damage with a strikeout.

They would find themselves right back in trouble in the second, however, as junior second baseman Adam Dorn (Canton, Ga.) notched a leadoff single, moved to second on a wild pitch and freshman shortstop Jackson McElvy (Kennesaw, Ga.) walked to put two on with no one out.

Senior outfielder Rhett Mixon (Loganville, Ga.) then poked a single through the right side to score Dorn. A pitching change would then yield a double play but one that scored the second run of the inning and made it 4-0.

From there, however, it would be all Berry as a single, groundout and walk put runners on first and second, where John D’Amelio took full advantage with a two-RBI double to the left field gap. That would halve the deficit but the true difference maker would be standout defense and pitching that would limit LaGrange to just two hits over the final seven innings.

In that time they would add one in the sixth when Andrew Pendleton doubled to left center, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Riley Uhls. The final blow, however, would come in the top of the seventh as the Vikings plated four runs on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch. They would then make that 7-4 lead hold up over the next two and a half innings.

D’Amelio would led Berry with a two-RBI double and a walk and Pendleton went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, walk and pair of runs scored. Nick Brunswick went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Uhls accounted for the other RBI. CJ Whaley would come in in relief, throwing 3.2 scoreless, one-hit innings to collect the win and move to 1-1.

The Panthers would manage just six hits, with Dorn leading with a 2-for-4 day. Ruth would lace a triple and be one of three players with an RBI, along with Bonner and Mixon. Making his second straight start against Berry, freshman pitcher Eduardo Peralta (David, Chirqui, Panama) went 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out four while freshman pitcher Eli Folds (Cullman, Ala.) tossed two third of an inning, allowing three runs, to suffer the loss and fall to 2-2.


The Panthers continue a five-game homestand as they host Belhaven in a three-game set from April 6-8. The first two games of that series are set for 7 p.m. with first pitch for the finale slated for 2 p.m.