MONTGOMERY, Ala. - LaGrange took Game 1 of its USA South series showdown with Huntingdon by a football-like score of 21-11 on Friday night at Posey Field. The second-ranked Panthers upped their overall record to 31-5 and 14-2 in the conference.
McKinley Erves reached base in all six of his at-bats. He had three hits, walked three times, and scored four runs. Joe Ruth had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Gabriel Pallo had three hits, while Jack Layrisson had a pair of hits and drove in four runs.
Mixon's first home run of the season in the third drove in the first two runs of a three-run inning. Huntingdon (23-12, 11-4 USA South) came back with two runs off Baley Coleman in the bottom of the inning.
The Panthers sent 17 batters to the plate as part of a 12-run inning in the fifth. It was the most runs in an inning for LC since scoring 11 in a 23-2 win over Piedmont in the first round of the USA South Tournament last year.
LC had eight hits and took advantage of three Hawk errors in the inning. Ruth had two hits in the inning and an RBI. Cael Chatham had a two-run double, followed by a Smigelski RBI single. Layrisson drove in two with a bases loaded hit and Jared Aldridge capped the inning with a single to drive in the final two runs for a 15-2 lead.
Huntingdon put up seven runs in the sixth to make 15-9. Andrew Knight capped the inning with a grand slam. Coleman (7-1) allowed nine earned runs in six innings in picking up the win.
The Panthers got a two-run single from Rhett Hebert and Ruth walked with the bases loaded in the seventh to put LC up by nine. Smigelski hit his second home run in as many games, a solo shot in the eighth. Layrisson drove in his fourth run of the game in the ninth to close out the Panthers' scoring.
The two teams play Game 2 on Saturday at 3 p.m. EDT.