DEMOREST, Ga. – Piedmont College broke open a close game with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and went on to defeat visiting Whitworth 8-1 in the first of three Pirate games in Georgia this weekend.
Whitworth (2-2) will play at Emory University on Saturday.
Piedmont (4-2) scored first when Cameron Johnson homered with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Whitworth tied the game in the top of the sixth when Nicholas Nerud doubled home Cael McKeirnan with one out. The Pirates had a chance for more with runners on first and third with one out, but the Lions got a strikeout and a fly out to end the threat.
Piedmont took that momentum into the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs. Evan Meade tripled home the final two runs of the rally.
The Lions tacked on two more in the seventh, including an RBI double by Brady Ballstadt. The final run scored in the eighth when Meade homered with one out.
Piedmont pitchers limited Whitworth to four hits in the game. Ryan Cox started and picked up the win after giving up one run on three hits in 5.1 innings. Three relievers followed, allowing only one single and one walk.
Matthew Young started on the mound for the Bucs and fell to 1-1 after allowing three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. Brett Thomas, Tyson Yamane and Tim Bever followed in relief and combined to give up five runs on six hits in 2.2 innings.
Nerud's RBI was his team-leading seventh of the season for the Pirates. Meade went 2-4 with three RBIs to lead the Lions at the plate.