No. 21 LaGrange swept a non-conference doubleheader from Eastern Mennonite on Saturday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers (11-1) run-ruled the Royals in both games, winning 13-2 in eight innings in the first game, then completing the sweep with a 12-1 win in seven innings in the second game.
The Panthers pounded the Royals' pitching for 29 hits on the day. LC scored 18 runs with two outs in the two games. Joe Ruth and Jared Aldridge each hit a home run. Jack Layrisson had two doubles included in his four hits and drove in two runs. He has a team-leading 17 RBIs.
Ruth, Cael Chatham, and McKinley Erves all had four RBIs. Ruth had four hits, including the home run, and raised his season average to .453. Rhett Hebert was officially 0-for-4 in the two games, but walked once, hit by a pitch three other times, and scored six runs.
Baley Coleman raised his season record to 4-0 in the first game. Coleman allowed a run on six hits, walked two, and struck out seven in five innings. Tanner Chafin surrendered a run in two innings of work, while Cal Fuller worked a scoreless eighth inning.
Tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers took control of the game. Chatham led off with a double and came around to score on Aldridge's base hit for a 2-1 lead. The game turned on a sequence of three pitches. With two outs and the bases loaded, Erves lined the first pitch he saw into right field to drive two runs. The hit was the 200th of Erves' LC career. Ruth smashed the second pitch of his at-bat over the right field fence for a three-run home run and a 7-1 lead. The home run was the first of the season for Ruth. Jorge Fragoso ended the game in the bottom of the eighth with his third hit of the game, a two-run single for the 13-2 final.
In the second game, the Panthers led 2-1 heading to the bottom of the second inning. The Panthers exploded for eight runs in the inning to break the game open. Chatham had a two-run single, and Aldridge hit his second home run of the season, a two-run blast over the left field fence. Ruth and Fragoso each had RBI hits in the inning.
Dalton Brooks, Hayden Stone, Ashton Shackleford combined on a three-hitter in the second game. Brooks (2-0) went five innings, giving up a run on two hits, walked three and struck out eight. Stone retired the Royals in order in the sixth inning and Shackleford struck out the side in the seventh to close out the game.
The two teams conclude their three-game series Sunday at 2 p.m.