Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville baseball team opened its 2010 season Thursday afternoon sweeping a double header against King College 10-3 and 9-6 playing in frigid conditions and a wintry mix.

Drew Province had the honor of throwing the first pitch of the 2010 season striking out the first batter he faced. King would leave one man on base in the top of the first. The Crusaders started the season hot on offense as Marcus Duckworth tallied the first hit of the season for NGU with a single. Duckworth followed up the hit stealing second base before Anthony Foulk laced a double into the left field gap registering the first RBI for North Greenville. The Crusaders added 1 more run in the first inning on a Derek Fulmer sacrifice fly that scored Foulk.
The Crusaders added insurance runs in the second and third innings. The teams biggest inning came in the fifth as they added 5 runs on 2 hits. Derek Fulmer hit a home run for NGU in the third inning and accounted for 2 RBI’s in the first game. Marcus Duckworth went 3-4 in the first game with three RBI’s for NGU.  Starting pitcher Drew Province pitched five innings giving up 3 earned runs on 4 walks. Province tallied 6 strikeouts on the opening day performance.
“we had a great outing from our starter, Drew Provence and solid relief from Nate Richards combined with timely clutch hitting throughout the lineup in the first game” remarked head coach Travis Henson, “We had clutch hitting and great offensive execution at key times during the game.”
Jeff Witt started the second game for NGU but was ousted quickly in the first inning after king college plated 5 runs on 7 hits and 6 walks. The North Greenville offense responded to the challenge posting 3 runs in the bottom half of the first. NGU plated another run in the third before taking the lead with a 2 run bottom of the fifth.
North Greenville pulled away from King College in the sixth inning knocking in 3 runs on 4 hits. In the second game, the Crusaders were led by Derek Fulmer and Jonathan Polak who both had 2 RBI’s. Fulmer went 2-4 at the plate and scored 3 runs. Marcus Duckworth accounted for 3 runs as well. Pitcher Mark Benjamin who came on in relief in the 2nd inning rung up 4 King batters and gave up 1 earned run.
 “Being down 5-0 in the first is a tough test but we showed a lot of resolve and fortitude to battle back for a big come from behind win,” remarked Henson ”Mark Benjamin was tremendous in long relief just as in Game 1,  we had some clutch hitting and great offensive execution at key times. Good defense was key for us winning today as well. It’s a great start but we cannot get complacent. We have to stay hungry and improve as the season goes on.”
The Crusaders will take the diamond again February 9, 2010 against Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina.