DEMOREST, Ga.—The Huntingdon baseball team split a pair of elimination games on day two of the Great South Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament on Sunday, hosted by Piedmont College at Loudermilk Field.
The Hawks staved off elimination in the opener by defeating the host Lions, 6-3, before falling to Maryville, 6-5, in the nightcap.
Huntingdon ends its regular season with a 28-14 record and will now await the NCAA’s announcement concerning Regional Playoffs, which will be announced in early May.
Game One Recap
Huntingdon 6, Piedmont 3
Senior Kyle Eller and junior Drew Harrell both had three hits, including a home run each, as the Hawks picked up a 6-3 win and eliminated Piedmont from the tournament.
On the mound, senior Scott Holloway (6-4) tossed 6.0 efficient innings, allowing just six hits and three runs, while striking out two. Sophomore Caleb Cofield threw the final three frames to pick up his second save of the season. Cofield did not allow a hit, walking just two and striking out one.
Huntingdon fell behind 1-0 after one inning, after Kevin McConnell plated Corey Lindsey with a groundout in the top of the frame.
The Hawks answered with three runs in the bottom of the second, as freshman Austin White, Harrell, and Eller all drove in runs. White tied the score with a bases-loaded single, while Harrell gave the Hawks the lead for good after he beat out a potential double-play ball. Senior Ben Cecil, who reached with a single, scored on the play. Eller added a RBI single in the frame.
Huntingdon added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Harrell launched his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, to make the score 5-1. Eller followed with his 12th homer of the season later in the inning.
The Lions (20-18) mounted their best rally of the contest in the seventh inning, chasing Holloway from the game after they had three straight hits to lead off the inning. Cofield entered the game with runners on first and third and no one out and following a walk to load the bases, got Curtis Cornett to ground into the third double play of the day for Piedmont. Cofield followed by getting McConnell to pop up to first base to end the threat.
Harrell drove in three runs to lead the Hawks, while Eller added two RBIs. Cecil and White each finished with two hits.
Dusty Black took the loss for the Lions, falling to 5-4 on the season, after allowing six runs and 12 hits in 6.0 innings. Lindsey and Scott Haddock paced the offense with two hits each.
Game Two Recap
Maryville 6, Huntingdon 5
In a game that featured 21 hits and 11 errors, the difference came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Maryville’s Zac Hargett beat out the back end of a bang-bang double play to score the go-ahead run in the form of Colton Dempsey.
With the score tied at 5-5, the Hawks got the ground ball they were looking for from sophomore John Rice (2-3). Hargett rolled a slow roller to senior Josh Bennefield, who tossed to White at second base and delivered a perfect strike to Cecil at first. The Hawks appeared to get the call, but at the last second, Hargett was called safe, allowing Dempsey to plate the game-winner.
Huntingdon put together a final rally in the top of the ninth inning, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Will Dobson (4-2) slammed the door with a strike out to end the game.
Rice tossed his first complete game of the season in the losing effort, allowing six runs, all of which were unearned. Rice scattered eight hits and walked two, while striking out five.
Senior Bryant Hall led the offensive attack with four hits, while Eller finished 3-for-3 with two doubles and a RBI. Fellow senior Chris Knight added two hits. However, the Hawks left 14 runners on base, compared to just seven for Maryville.
Huntingdon fell behind in the contest 4-0 after the first inning, as a pair of errors came back to bite the defense.
Despite the defensive lapse, the Hawks cut the deficit in half with two runs in the second inning, as White hit a sacrifice fly and Knight laced a RBI double.
Huntingdon took the lead 5-4 in the fourth inning, as Bennefield and Eller each posted RBI hits, while an error by the Scots (25-17) allowed another run to score.
Maryville rallied to tie the score in the seventh, as Mikee Moore led off with a sharp single to centerfield that slid past senior Shawn Bezwiechin, allowing Moore to advance to third. Myles Cordell followed with a run scoring double to tie the score.
The Scots advance in the tournament to take on LaGrange for the league championship on Monday at 1 p.m. The Panthers, who must be defeated twice, beat Maryville 8-4 on Sunday to advance to the Championship game.
Sports Information Director
Phone: (334) 833-4579