By Ryan Palencer
SPEEDWAY — After a rainstorm rolled through and forced Covenant Christian’s sectional opener against South Putnam to be postponed from Wednesday night to Thursday, the Warriors had some additional challenges.
Despite these obstacles, Covenant Christian defeated South Putnam 4-3 to advance to the semifinals.
“I thought the effort was a lot better (Wednesday) night, when we jumped on their pitcher early,” Covenant coach Andy Gossel said. “When we got it going in the fifth inning, we scored a few times. It’s nice to keep surviving and advance to play Cloverdale on Monday.”
Before the delay Wednesday, the Warriors got on top of the Eagles early as Zachary Riffle scored from second on a single by Grayson Prather. However, in between the first and second innings, the skies opened up and forced the postponement.
South Putnam bounced back Thursday, with an RBI ground out in the bottom of the fourth to make it 1-1.
However, the Warriors exploded in the fifth inning, scoring three runs. Riffle had an RBI single and Caleb Keehner pushed another run across with an RBI sacrifice fly. Then Prather drove in his second run of the game with an RBI double.
The Eagles scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, adding some excitement to the game but the Warriors were able to hold on for the victory.
Keehner pitched six innings, between the two nights, for the win. He gave up only four hits and one run, while striking out five. Jake LaBounty pitched the seventh inning for the save.
Covenant Christian will battle Cloverdale at 10 a.m. Monday at Speedway.