BY JANIE HARRIS, Staff Writer
After winning Friday and Saturday games against the LaGrange College Panthers, the Piedmont College Lions baseball team failed to secure another win in extra innings on Sunday, April 6 in Loudermilk Stadium, losing 12-7 to LaGrange.
Piedmont’s Head Coach Jim Peeples said, “We left the game out there. We should have finished and won, so it was disappointing.”
Piedmont pitcher junior Chris Goershel started the game off strong, striking out the LaGrange leadoff batter.
He proceeded to strike out another batter in the first inning as well.
While there were many base hits by both teams, neither team scored until the bottom of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, Piedmont short stop freshman Griffin Olson stepped up to bat with the bases loaded.
Hitting a double with a two-base error, Olson helped Piedmont gain a 4-0 lead. This lead increased to 6-0 when Piedmont scored two more runs.
“I really didn’t know what to say, think, or feel because it was just a chaotic play that you rarely see happen,” said Olson.
In the fourth, LaGrange quickly took away the chance of a shut-out. The Panthers scored their first two runs of the game in this inning.
Piedmont also scored one run during the fourth after LaGrange changed pitchers.
The fifth and sixth innings went by rapidly with no runs for either team due to a number of back-to-back outs on both sides.
The Panthers began to gain on the Lions after Piedmont switched pitchers in the seventh.
LaGrange added five runs, one being a home run, and kept Piedmont from scoring in the seventh and eighth.
The ninth inning ended with a tied score of 7-7.
The Lions and Panthers continued to battle it out for three extra innings. The twelfth inning proved to be detrimental to the Lions.
In the twelfth and final inning, Piedmont used three different pitchers. The first switch occurred after LaGrange’s leadoff made it to first base. Within the next three batters, LaGrange scored three runs. The Panthers continued to dominate this final inning by scoring two more runs.
With two outs on the board, Piedmont brought in one more pitcher to get the last out.
“We were kind of at the end of the rope, and everybody had taken the mound and pitched,” Peeples said “And we were doing the best that we could.”
When the Lions came up to bat to answer LaGrange’s scores, the Panthers changed pitchers.
But with three back-to-back outs, Piedmont was defeated.
In the end, those who scored runs for Piedmont include Michael Barnes, Austin Brick, Will Skidmore, Olson, Breck Davidson and Daniel Lindsey.
The pitchers from Piedmont include Goershel, Allen Tokarz, Josh Thomas, Jacob Brewster, Drew Stephens and Matt Stephens. In total, they allowed 20 hits and 12 runs- a new season high according to the Piedmont athletics’ website.
Four errors were committed by Piedmont.
Peeples said, “It makes our task a little more difficult, but I still believe we still control our own fate.”
While the conference championship will rely on the outcomes of other teams’ seasons, Piedmont still has an opportunity to get to 30 wins, and according to Peeples, there are very few teams with 30 wins that do not go to the playoffs.
Their next game will be Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. in Loudermilk Stadium against Oglethorpe University.