Baseball: Panthers toppled by Huntingdon in USA South Tournament opener

Baseball: Panthers toppled by Huntingdon in USA South Tournament opener

WILSON, N.C. - Huntingdon downed LaGrange 4-2 in the USA South Tournament on Thursday in Fleming Stadium.

The loss drops the Panthers (27-12) into the loser's bracket of the tournament. They will face either Covenant or N.C. Wesleyan on Friday at 1 p.m. 

Huntingdon (20-16) took advantage of two Panthers errors to score an unearned run in the first inning and again in the second to take a 2-0 lead off Panther starter Eric Morell (8-2).

Zach McGrady (6-4) held the Panthers scorless until the sixth inning. Tavin Thompson opened the inning with a single. He moved up to second on Casey Bell's sacrifice and over to third on a wild pitch. Blake Butcher drove in Thompson with a two-out base hit to make it 2-1.

The Hawks added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh to build a 4-1 lead. The Panthers got a run back in the bottom of the inning.

McGrady issued three straight walks to load the bases with one out. Thompson was hit by a pitch to force in Joe Pradat to cut the Hawks' lead to 4-2. McGrady escaped the jam by getting Bell to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The Panthers had six hits in the game, with Thompson having two of them.