The Maryville College Scots put together a strong defensive effort, but an eighth-inning rally from the No. 3-ranked LaGrange College Panthers ended the game, 3-0.
Maryville and LaGrange went scoreless through seven innings, as the Scots' defensive effort stood strong. The team got out of multiple tough innings, but MC's offense couldn't push across a run.
The fifth-seeded Scots will not move the loser's bracket of the USA South Conference Tournament. They will play the winner of William Peace and Greensboro College this afternoon at 4 p.m. in an elimination game. The contest will be played on LaGrange College's home field.
After giving up an error to lead off the top of the second, the Scots forced a groundout and a 5-4-3 double play to end the LaGrange threat.
Maryville followed suit in the top of the third, after putting runners on the corners via hit-by-pitch and a single. The Scots got out of the inning without the Panthers plating a run.
The fourth inning saw the Scots post another defensive stand. A walk and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with only one out. A pair of fly outs would end the inning, as LaGrange had left four runners on through the third and fourth innings.
A leadoff double by Joe Pradat again put the Scots in danger during the fourth. Maryville managed their fourth-consecutive defensive stand to go three-up, three down to end the threat, still without any score on the board.
Maryville's defense continued to shine in the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk and a bunt single put a pair of runners on, before a sacrifice put them at second and third with only one out. Maryville intentionally walked Tavin Thompson, before bringing in relief pitcher Joe Jones. Jones forced USA South Player of the Year Casey Bell to his second inning-ending double play of the day to end the threat and keep zeroes on the board.
After a repeat of the seventh offensively for LaGrange during the eighth, the Panthers loaded the bases. Chad Pigg earned the RBI off a bunt single to the pitcher, as Blake Butcher scored from third. Joe Pradat used a two-RBI single through the right side, scoring Kyle Gutowski and Cain Sauls. The Panthers led 3-0.
Maryville managed to put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn't push a run across the plate. The Scots lost in the second round, 3-0.
Maryville (20-19) saw Hayden Hollingsworth, Andrew Henry, Drew Johnson and Evan Ezell each had a hit in the Scots' four-hit afternoon. LaGrange forced 11 strikeouts for MC during the second-round contest.
For LaGrange, they held USA South Player of the Year Casey Bell to an 0-for-5 effort. However, Pradat went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI to lead the Panthers to the victory.