LaGrange held off Emory 7-4 to stay unbeaten Tuesday night at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers are 7-0 to start the season for the first time since 2003.
The Panthers made the most of their seven hits, which included three doubles, and a triple. Third baseman Joe Ruth had two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. McKinley Erves had a double and two RBIs, while Jack Layrisson had a run-scoring triple.
Michael Menhart (1-0) started on the mound for LC. He allowed a run on two hits in four innings of work, walked one and struck out two. Ethan Kramer, the Panthers' fourth pitcher of the night, pitched the final two innings to get his third save of the season. Kramer gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four.
Emory (4-4) took a 1-0 lead in the second on Jack Halloran's first home run of the season. The Panthers answered with three runs in their half of the third.
With one out, Fragoso doubled to right field and moved over to third on a ground out. Rhett Mixon was hit by a pitch to keep the inning going. Erves followed with a double to deep center, scoring Fragoso and Mixon all the way around from first to go up 2-1. Ruth brought home Erves with a single to right for a 3-1 lead.
The Panthers scored two more runs with two outs in the fourth to make it 5-1. Jared Aldridge had a one-out opposite field single, stole second, moved over to third on a ground out, and came home on a wild pitch. Fragoso reached on a two-out error to keep the inning alive. He stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Rhett Hebert singled up the middle to drive in Fragoso with the second run of the inning.
Ruth gave LC a 6-1 lead with a run-scoring double in the fifth inning. Emory came back with three runs in the top of the sixth to cut LC's lead to 6-4. The Eagles needed only one hit in the inning, taking advantage of two walks and two errors by the Panthers.
The Panthers picked up an insurance run in the seventh. Ruth walked with two outs and Layrisson followed with his triple to right field for a 7-4 lead. Kramer pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning to close out the game.
The Panthers play Nichols (Mass.) College in a three-game series this weekend. The two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday and finish the series Sunday.