Three-run sixth backs Reitz's performance in Covenant's 3-2 win

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LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Matt Reitz turned in his best start of the season and Joel Johnson hit a go-ahead two-run home run to cap a three run sixth inning to give the Covenant baseball team a 3-2 win over Maryville on Friday afternoon.

Covenant (6-7, 1-3 USA South) needed the win to snap its four-game losing streak. Maryville drops to 5-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

Reitz was masterful throughout. The sophomore right-hander struck out the side in the first inning and had a career-high 10 punch outs on the day. Reitz (3-2) surrendered just four hits and one earned run to pick up his first nine-inning complete-game of his career. 

Despite Reitz's efforts early on, Covenant still trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth. Caleb Bloye led off the inning with a walk that spelled the end of the day for Maryville starter, and reigning USA South Pitcher of the Week, Evan Heffner. Alex Kerr reached on an infield single and Z Arima followed with a sac bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. Julien Amorelli followed with an RBI ground out to make it 2-1.

The big blow came one batter later when Johnson hit a towering, two-run homer to left field giving the host Scots a 3-2 lead. The home run was Johnson's first of the season.

Reitz would hold Maryville to just two hits over the final three innings of play. Maryville had a chance in the top of the ninth as Johnny Carpenter collected a one-out single. Carpenter then advanced to second on a wild pitch and tried to score on a Covenant error, but was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning.

Six different players recorded a hit for Covenant. Luke Harvey went 0-for-4, but reached base in the third inning and stole second. The steal was the 56th of Harvey's career and broke the Covenant program record as Harvey passed Will Cleland's 55 steals.

Heffner lasted five innings allowing three hits and one run with five strikeouts. Zach Messinger (1-3) picked up the loss as he surrendered Johnson's homer in the sixth. Logan Hayes was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Drew Johnson also recorded an RBI for Maryville.