Gaffney, S.C.—The North Greenville baseball (2-1) traveled to Limestone College on Wednesday afternoon trying to open the season with three straight wins but fell short losing to the Saints 7-5 in the nine inning tussle.
Starting on the mound for NGU was junior right hander Mark Benjamin who gave up three earned runs on nine hits. Benjamin allowed 1 walk and registered three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. Coach Travis Henson turned to the bullpen with two outs in fifth inning. In less than an inning of work, freshman John Reinholz gave up 4 runs (2 earned) on one hit. Reinholz walked one batter and struck out two. Brian Giles and Daniel Goodnight both pitched an inning of relief as well. Giles gave up one hit and registered one hit while Goodnight gave up three hits, two walks and a strikeout. Neither Giles or Goodnight gave up a run in a combined 2.2 innings of relief.
Offensively the Crusaders were led by Anthony Foulk who went 2-5 scoring two runs and picking up 2 RBI’s. Both of Foulk’s RBI’s came on a two run homer in the top of the 8th inning that scored Marcus Duckworth. Duckworth was also one of the offensive leaders for North Greenville. Duckworth was 2-4 at the plate and scored twice. Third baseman Dayton Lupton also went 2-4 at the plate and accounted for two RBI’s.
The Crusaders fell behind early in the contest as Limestone scored a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Crusaders answered the challenge scoring two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. North Greenville went up 3-1 after scoring a run in the top of the fourth. Limestone tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth with two runs locking the score at 3-3. The score remained deadlocked at three until the Saints posted a 4 run sixth inning to go up 7-3.
The Crusaders scored two runs in the eighth inning but failed to score in the ninth. For the game the Crusaders scored 5 runs on 10 hits leaving 10 runners on base. With the loss NGU falls to 2-1 on the season while Limestone improves to 2-2. “We missed some opportunities early and it came back to haunt us and we walked some guys at an in opportune times,” said head coach Travis Henson, “overall though I’m proud of our guys. They kept battling and never gave up. We have to forget about this one and get ready for the weekend.”
The Crusaders return home for a weekend series against Davis and Elkins. The two clubs will play one game on Friday followed by a double header to wrap the series on Saturday. First pitch for Friday is scheduled for 2pm. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 12pm.