LaGrange College bows out of out of CCS Tournament with loss to Covenant

Published 10:49 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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Top seeded No. 23 LaGrange (27-15, 13-5 CCS) would be held to just three hits, all singles, over the first seven innings as two early runs would hold up as No. 5 Seed Covenant (16-17, 7-9 CCS) posted a 2-0 decision in an elimination game at the 2023 Collegiate Conference of the South Baseball Tournament on Friday, May 5.

Playing as the home team on the scoreboard, the Scots threatened right away, loading the bases with one out behind a single, fielder’s choice and a walk. The Panthers would work their way out of that jam, getting a strikeout and the third out on another fielder’s choice, but would not be so fortunate in the second.

That frame would see Covenant make the first two outs in short order as they worked the left side of the infield on a liner to third and grounder to shortstop before waking up offensively. Andrew Brock drew a two-out walk and moved to third when Harrison Adelgren singled to center. Joseph Ridenour then poked one to left field to score Brock and Zeke Gilbert followed with one to right to plate Adelgren for a 2-0 lead.

As it turned out, that would be all they would need offensively as Scots pitching bore down, recording back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. LC got a man as far as third via wild pitch in the fifth but would manage just one hit more through the seventh.

The Panthers best opportunity came in the top of the eighth when junior outfielders Noah Preuer (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Gabriel Pallo (Melbourne, Fla.) knocked one-out singles to center and left, respectively, to put the tying runs on base. That would be it for starting pitcher Jackson Smith but the sledding would get no easier as Zach Tolleson came on and got a fly out and infield grounder to get out of the inning.

Covenant would threaten to add on in the home half of the eighth, with back-to-back singles of their own with one out, but sophomore Ashton Shackelford (Ellerslie, Ga.) toed the rubber and immediately rolled a double play ball to short to keep it a two-run game.

A one-out single to right by senior third baseman Joe Ruth (Chiefland, Fla.) in the top of the ninth gave LaGrange the opportunity for a bloop and a blast to tie it but instead would see the Scots turn their own double play – this one to close out the 2-0 victory and eliminate the Panthers from the inaugural CCS Tournament.

Adelgren anchored the Scots’ performance, going 3-for-4 with a run while Ridenour and Gilbert were both 1-for-4 with an RBI. Benjamin Johnson rounded out what offense there was, going 2-for-4, and Smith delivered a gem on the hill, throwing 7.1 scoreless, five innings to get the win and move to 3-4. Tolleson tossed 1.2 scoreless in relief to collect his first save of the year.

The Panthers managed just six hits on the day, that led by Ruth and senior catcher David Smigelski (Canton, Ga.) each going 2-for-4. Pallo and Preuer would have the only other hits and freshman Eduardo Peralta (David, Chiriqui, Panama) would suffer his first collegiate loss despite 7.1 innings and two runs to go with seven strikeouts. He falls to 7-1.


Having been eliminated from the CCS Tournament, the Panthers will have to wait to see if their 27-15 overall record merits a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The field is likely to be announced on Monday, May 15 and, entering the week, LaGrange was sixth of the seven teams ranked in Region VI.