Smith Homers in Season-Opening Baseball Setback

John Macon Smith (Zach Morgan photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Josh Bailey's three-run double in the fifth inning lifted visiting Piedmont College to an 8-4 baseball win at Guilford College in both teams' season opener Saturday. Bailey also made a great catch in right field to end a Quakers' scoring threat in the sixth inning.

Guilford (0-1) opened the game with five straight hits and scored four first-inning runs off of Piedmont ace Kevin Caldwell (1-0). John Macon Smith hit a three-run homer in the frame and Casey Mann added an RBI fielder's choice. Caldwell settled in thereafter and scattered four hits over six scoreless innings. He pitched effectively with runners on base and stranded nine, including three runners on third.

While Caldwell kept Guilford's offense in check, the Lions (1-0) chipped away at Guilford starter Will James (0-1). Tate Koons' two-out, two-run, homer in the third got Piedmont on the board. The Lions took advantage of a dropped foul ball, an infield hit and a walk to load the bases in the fifth for Bailey, who cleared the bases with a line drive to deep center.

Guilford threatened in the bottom of the fifth as Smith and Kent Peterson reached on errors and advanced to second and third before Caldwell escaped with a popup and two comebackers to the mound. Bailey helped Caldwell end the sixth inning with a lunging grab in foul territory near the right-field fence. The defensive gem stranded Guilford's Gabe Mirabelli on third.

Logan Pethel delivered an RBI single and Garrett Lovelace followed with a two-run homer to boost Piedmont's lead to 8-4 in the top of the eighth inning. Josh Thomas relieved Caldwell bottom of the inning and retired six in a row with two strikeouts.

The teams meet again Sunday at McBane Field. First pitch is 2:00 p.m.