The Greenville University Baseball Team traveled to Chattanooga, TN this past weekend to get in their final three non-conference games before conference play begins for the Panthers. The team has started slow out of the gates, now standing at 0-9 after the series with the Covenant Scots.
The team took the six-and-a-half-hour bus ride down to the Volunteer state late Thursday night, and then they began the weekend series on Friday with a single nine-inning game at Covenant College. Jax Gibson was the starter for game one, and he gave up only one earned run off three hits through five innings. The bats started slow for the Panthers as they were down 2-0 after the end of the 4th inning. Suddenly, in the fifth inning, a Landon Mokris moonshot into the trees gave the panthers a 3-2 lead, which was then added onto with RBI’s from Dusty Sutton and Mark Islas. After the end of the fifth inning, Greenville had taken the lead.
Unfortunately, those were the last scoring plays that came from game one as Covenant went on to rally back through the next 3 innings and eventually top the panthers 9-5.
The Saturday doubleheader didn’t have any change in endings, and Greenville dropped both games. In the first game, the Panthers scrounged up their only run in the first inning off an RBI single from Sutton. The Scots were then quickly able to regain the lead after a two-run bottom of the first. The Panthers were only able to score in one inning while Covenant was able to score in all but one inning. Luke Fleener was on the mound to start the game. He went four-and-a-third innings and gave up seven runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits.
The second game began in what seemed to be a close game with Lucas Teel on the mound for the Panthers. The game sat at 1-0 in favor of Covenant for two-and-a-half innings until the Scots erupted in the bottom of the third for a 13-run inning, producing the bulk of the game’s runs. The Panthers were able to quickly come back into some contention with a seven-run inning, but they were not able to complete the comeback. The day was highlighted by George Schneider’s 2-for-3 game and Islas’s 2-for-4.
The team now finds itself in a hole very similar to that of last year’s short-lived season. There are many things this team must figure out and work on to become a contending team in the SLIAC, but there have also been glimpses of strong promise for this young and very fresh core of players. Sutton, the second baseman for the Panthers, believes the team just needs to trust the process and continue to work. He states, “We are almost there [hitting]. We know and have shown we can hit, but we just need to get over that hump.” With conference play starting this coming weekend, Sutton believes this team is learning from their previous games and are “… just about to hit stride as a team”.
Media by Noah Casali.