Fourth-ranked LaGrange opened the USA South Tournament Bracket #2 with a 27-1 rout of William Peace on Thursday at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.
Friday's schedule has been altered due to weather expected in the area. William Peace (21-19) plays Methodist, a 6-3 loser to Covenant, in the first game at 5 p.m. LC faces Covenant at 8:45 p.m. in the second game. Saturday's schedule has not been announced.
The Panthers (33-6) broke their own conference tournament record of 23 runs set last season against Piedmont. LC improved to 6-0 over the Pacers and have outscored them 63-2.
David Smigelski and Joe Ruth powered LC's 25 hit attack. Smigelski had a career day, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and seven RBIs. He had a double and his third home run of the season included in his hits. In the last five games, Smigelski is batting .391 with three home runs and 13 RBIs. Ruth, named the USA South Player of the Year earlier in the day, had four hits, scored three runs, and had five RBIs to give him 74 on the season. He has 84 hits and is three shy of breaking the school season record of 86, held by Danny Little since 1988.
Coach David Kelton emptied the bench, playing 16 in the game, with 14 getting a hit. The Panthers took advantage of five Pacer errors in the game, leading to 19 unearned runs. LC scored in six of eight innings, with a 10-run fifth inning included.
Baley Coleman raised his record to 8-1 by allowing a run and just two hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out two. Ethan Kramer, Hunter Garcia, Cal Fuller, and Ethan Fry each threw a scoreless inning of relief.