HIGHLAND, Ill. – The Panthers kept their NCAA playoff hopes alive on Thursday night as they split games in the first round double-dip of the 2011 SLIAC tournament. GC was outlasted in game one by Fontbonne 4-3 in an eleven-inning pitchers duel, but bounced back in the nightcap behind David Massengill’s complete game 6-2 victory over Westminster.
The Black & Orange rallied late in game one, and behind a game-tying solo homerun by Daniel Covert, pushed the game into extra innings in the bottom of the ninth. However, Fontbonne closed the deal in the eleventh, breaking the 3-3 tie with an RBI single. GC failed to get a runner on base in the bottom of the finale, going 1-2-3 in consecutive outs and was edged 4-3 in gut-wrenching fashion.
In the opener Covert’s clutch bat continued to lead the Panthers offensively. Though only going 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run, his timely solo-shot tied the game and forced extra play. Third baseman Kenny Trager also aided the efforts at the plate, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
On the mound sophomore Derek Reckmann went six innings with two earned on four hits before fellow under-classman Scotty Voyles relieved him in the seventh. Voyles was charged the loss, but dealt five innings and only surrendered four hits with two earned.
With their backs against the wall in double-elimination capper, Greenville faced foe Westminster with the game starting at 9:00 pm. Despite the game finishing around midnight Massengill showed why he holds a 6-1 conference record, notching a complete game, five hit win. The senior struck out 10 while walking no batters and surrendering one earned in the 6-2 victory.
The club also produced offensively, capitalizing on opportunities and scoring six runs on only seven hits. Cole Lawson drove in the only GC RBI of the game while going 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Greenville will head back to Highland today to face the loser of Fontbonne and Webster, and will look to stage off elimination at 8:00 pm at Glik Park.