LaGrange opened its USA South schedule with a 12-0 win over Berea on Saturday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The 12th-ranked Panthers improved to 15-1 with their sixth straight win and continued the program's best start ever.
Joe Ruth had two hits, including his second home run of the season, and a career high five RBIs. Jack Layrisson added three hits, including a triple, and drove in three runs. Jared Aldridge had a double included in his two hits and two RBIs. Adam Dorn also had two hits, including a double, while McKinley Erves scored four runs.
Baley Coleman (5-0) and Jacob Brown combined to throw the Panthers' second shutout of the season. Coleman gave up four hits in five innings of work, did not walk a batter and struck out four. Brown finished the game with two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out two.
Layrisson's run-scoring single in the first inning gave LC a 1-0 lead. The Panthers increased their lead to 4-0 in the third. Ruth drove in a run with a ground out, Layrisson had his second RBI single and later scored on an error.
In the fourth, with one out, Dorn and Erves reached on back-to-back walks. Ruth followed with his home run over the right field fence for a 7-0 lead. Dorn had an RBI double in the fifth to make it 8-0.
The Panthers ended the game on the 12-run rule in the seventh. Ruth walked with the bases loaded to force in a run and Layrisson brought home another run with a sacrifice fly. Aldridge ended the game with a two-run double to the gap in left field for the 12-0 final.
The teams complete their weekend series with a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 12 p.m.