By Sewanee student-athlete Ryan Tillman.
LAGRANGE, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2017) — The Sewanee baseball team dropped its first game of the 2017 season Saturday, as host LaGrange earned a 10-3 win.
LaGrange hitters found a rhythm early, quickly scoring six runs in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Tavin Thompson carried the team with three singles and a run scored.
The Panthers looked to 2016 All-USA South pitcher Ryan Broaderick to start the series, but the junior lasted just four innings. After getting their timing down, Tiger hitters scored three runs. LaGrange was forced to turn to senior Josh Smith (W, 1-0), who took the mound for four innings while earning the win.
Despite losing, Sewanee saw promise in the performance of numerous freshmen. In their collegiate debuts, Max Murray, Jared Demkowicz, and Nick Manco each recorded multiple hits. Demkowicz doubled in the first run, and Murray reached base safely twice while driving a runner home.
Sewanee Head Coach David Jenkins was pleased to see the poise his newcomers displayed.
"I thought the younger guys responded well today," said Jenkins. "Opening day can be difficult in itself, but they competed and looked confident. They did some really nice things at the plate and on the mound."
After surrendering a big lead in the first, sophomore Sam Herrick challenged hitters with his fastball in the zone over 2.1 scoreless innings. Freshman Jackson Cook also saw action in the eighth, recording another scoreless inning along with his first career strikeout.
The Tigers will tee it up with the Panthers again Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (EST).