Piedmont Takes Game 1

Piedmont Takes Game 1

Scots Fall 8-4 After Early Lead

MARYVILLE – Piedmont pounced when the time was right and rallied for an 8-4 victory over Maryville in Game 1 Friday night of a three-game series at Scotland Yard.

Maryville's second home loss of the season (16-2) puts the Scots in a real bind trying to secure the fourth and final spot from the West Division for the USA South tournament. The Scots need wins in the final two games of this series and then a win by Huntingdon against Brevard in a potential makeup game from an April 16 rainout. That game takes place Monday in Montgomery if necessary.

Here are the West Division standings, showing teams in and out of the tournament as things stand through Friday night:

LaGrange 14-2

Huntingdon 11-4

Covenant 9-8

Brevard 8-9

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MARYVILLE 7-9

Piedmont 7-9

Berea 1-16

Covenant has one more game at Berea, and Brevard just has the potential makeup game. Maryville has a path to the tournament, but the Scots need wins on Saturday and Sunday. They lost series against both Covenant and Brevard, so ties against those teams are no good.

In Friday's game, the Scots broke out to a 3-0 lead through three innings on an RBI-single and a run-scoring double off the bat of Jimmy Meredith, along with a solo homer from Nelson Smith. Pitching ace Bryce Leonhardt was mowing the Lions down, with seven strikeouts and just one baserunner allowed through those first three frames.

But Piedmont scored two runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth and then tallied a clinching four-spot in the seventh to chase Leonhardt. The decisive blows were two-run homers off the bats of Grant Olson in the fourth for Piedmont's first hit of the game, and Kyle Carlson in the seventh to cap that big inning.

Seven of Piedmont's eight runs in the game came with two out.

Leonhardt Strikes Out 10

Maryville, meanwhile, was limited to hits from just three players in the lineup. Meredith went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Smith finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and another driven in. Christian Carlton was the only other Scot with a hit after he went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one driven home.

Piedmont after a slow start outhit Maryville 9-8. Righthander Peyton Irvin was the beneficiary of that offensive surge as he went 6 and 1/3 innings and scattered four runs on seven hits for the pitching victory. Irvin improved to 4-5.

Leonhard tied his season high with 10 strikeouts over six-plus innings, allowing five runs on four hits and four walks. The Maryville righthander dropped to 6-3 with the loss. First-year reliever Mitchell Grannan posted his second consecutive solid outing of note with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed over two scoreless innings.