Rodriguez, Johnson not enough against No. 2 LaGrange

Rodriguez, Johnson not enough against No. 2 LaGrange

Maryville College saw Anthony Rodriguez pitch a gem, while Drew Johnson recorded a three-hit night, but it wouldn't be enough against the No. 2-ranked LaGrange College Panthers.

In a Scotland Yard pitching duel, Maryville College's Anthony Rodriguez and LaGrange College's Ryan Broaderick squared off.

Rodriguez had his best outing of his career as a freshman, pitching a gem against the No. 2 ranked Panthers. LaGrange is ranked 24th-ranked hitting team in the country, holding a .332 average on the season, but Rodriguez held them at bay.

The first-year lefty tossed eight complete innings, while holding LaGrange to just a .241 average against 29 batters. He allowed just seven hits, while striking out eight Panthers. He walked just one with two runs scored.

Through five complete, LaGrange's Broaderick had a 2-0 lead with eight strikeouts. He gave up only a pair of hits and a walk in five innings.

He ended his night in 6.1 innings, while giving up just four hits with only a single run. He had nine strikeouts on the day to hold the Scots at bay.

LaGrange College struck first in to top of the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Blane Swift and Chad Pigg put runners on the corners, before Joe Pradat's safety squeeze bunt score Swift from third. The Panthers held a 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the inning.

Evan Ezell found Maryville's first hit in the bottom of the third with a double to right-center. LaGrange's Ryan Broaderick struck out two, before forcing the groundout to get out of the inning with the Panthers' 1-0 lead intact.

James Poropatic used a blooper down the right-field line to reach second, before Tavin Thompson's sacrifice moved him to third. Casey Bell plated Poropatic with a groundout to first, as LaGrange held a 2-0 advantage.

Maryville plated their first run in the bottom of the seventh, after Johnson collected his second hit of the night off of Broaderick. A wild pitch moved him to second, before Ezell's second hit of the night – a single through the left side – put runners on the corners. Pinch runner Logan Hayes stole second, before Johnson took home on the double steal. Going to the eight, the Scots trailed 2-1.

Rodriguez struck out the side in the top of the eighth, but MC's offense couldn't push a run across. A hard-hit by off the fence in second ended with a throw out at second, before Andrew Henry would walk. Henry stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, but was stranded there as MC went to the ninth, trailing 2-1.

A pair of errors proved costly for the Scots in the top of the ninth. Back-to-back errors allowed Pigg to score, who had singled earlier in the inning. The Scots turned a 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning, as they went to the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-1.

Johnson would find his third hit in the inning, but LaGrange would take the victory.

Maryville (18-17, 8-8 USA South) saw Johnson go 3-for-4 with a run scored. Ezell and Hollingsworth both recorded two hits in the night for MC's seven-hit afternoon.

LaGrange (30-3, 15-1) saw Pigg go 3-for-4 with a run scored. Poropatic was 2-for-4 with a run, while Bell and Pradat each recorded RBI for the Panthers.

Maryville will return to action tomorrow, April 8, as they host a double header against the No. 2 Panthers. First pitch for the day is scheduled for 1 p.m.