Getting Back Into the Swing of Things


Sophomore Kelton Kieschnick throws a pitch to senior Zach Swindell. Zach Swindell is playing in his third Piedmont Fall World Series. Picture Credit: Emma Marti

Brett Loftis, Sports Editor

The Piedmont College baseball team and women’s tennis team were back into action the weekend of Oct. 23-25. Piedmont baseball played their annual Fall World Series to conclude their fall practices, while women’s tennis traveled to Brenau University on Saturday and Sunday.  An action packed weekend helped both teams get right back into the “swing” of things.  


The Piedmont baseball Fall World Series was a two game series played on Oct. 23 and 24. The team was divided into two groups, which were drafted and coached by the seniors in each group.  There was strong offense over the two games series; however, during game one, the brightest star might possibly have been sophomore starting pitcher for the “away” team, Jakob Valleroy. After putting in five innings of work in game one, Valleroy struck out seven players, only giving up one run on four hits, earning the win in a 10-5 victory.  The offensive star for the Lions in game one was on the home team, senior Ethan Darrow. Darrow went 2-for-3 in four plate appearances with a walk, two singles, a strikeout, an RBI and three stolen bases.  


Game two followed suit with game one, as the Piedmont bats continued to get the best of the Piedmont arms. Sophomore Heath Waldrop and freshman Eli Ledford led the way for the home team’s offense. In four plate appearances, Waldrop hit a double, walked twice, struck out once and stole two bases. Ledford made a solid first freshman impression as he went 2-for-3 with a strikeout and two singles, including a single off of flame-throwing junior closer, Carter Ballstadt.  However, Ballstadt’s firepower was able to get the best of the majority of the batters he faced, as he struck out five batters in two innings of work, while only giving up one earned run. Coach Justin Scali was very gratified with the way his team performed during the fall, including the Fall World Series.  


“We were very grateful to our administration for the opportunity to be out on the field practicing this fall. With the new NCAA regulations in place, we were able to spread our fall season out over a longer period of time and that really helped us not feel rushed to get everything we planned as a coaching staff done. The fall serves as a great chance for all our players to show us what they can do and we can evaluate our entire roster during that process,” said Piedmont Head Baseball Coach, Justin Scali. 

“We finish the fall annually with a World Series that always gets very competitive as we compete in a final weekend series to conclude our on-field portion of practices. Our seniors draft and coach the fall World Series teams so it’s always interesting to get a look at how they handle that process. Overall, our coaching staff has been really pleased with our energy and attention to detail this fall and look forward to competing again this spring.”


In Piedmont’s women’s tennis action on Oct. 24 and 25, the Lions faced off against Emmanuel College and Brenau University at Brenau in Gainesville, Ga. The Lions won two singles’ matches, both wins by senior Maggie Moody.  The Lady Lions won one doubles match with the combination of sophomore Imani Vincent and freshman Melissa Gist. Coach Trey Martin was overall pleased with the way his team played and very thankful for the opportunity for his players to step on the court and compete.


“First off, a huge thank you to the Piedmont administration, in particular Dr. Mellichamp and Coach Peeples for finding a way for us to play. We are one of the only D-III colleges playing right now,” said Coach Martin. “As a result of that, we had to play different schools than we normally would play. With the level of competition that we played this past weekend, our women’s tennis really stepped up to the challenge. I saw a number of girls play their best tennis that they have played since they became a Lion. While we didn’t win as many matches as I would have liked, we got better and it showed the girls why all the hard work in the fall was so important. I am really proud of this team.”