Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville baseball team (8-2) trailed for five innings before rallying to score runs in 4 straight innings to beat the Trojans of Anderson University 8-4 at Ashmore Field.
The win over Anderson gives the Crusaders a 2-1 record over the Trojans and the series victory. Starting on the mound for NGU was freshman Ryan Westbrook who pitched six innings giving up 4 earned runs on 6 hits. Westbrook gave up three home runs two walks and registered two strike outs.
The Trojans warmed up their bats early in the game scoring three runs in their first two at bats (all three runs from solo homeruns). The Anderson offense cooled in the last six innings however as the Trojans only scored once more in the sixth inning.
North Greenville’s offense was the polar opposite of Anderson for the first four innings. Until the bottom of the fifth the Crusaders had only one hit until Dayton Lupton singled up the middle which sparked an NGU offensive rally. The next batter was Brian Giles who ripped a line drive into right center field which dropped just below a diving right fielders glove and rolled to fence. Lupton scored from first base and Giles collected the first RBI of the game for NGU on a one out triple.
Next up for North Greenville was Markus Duckworth who scored Giles on a bunt single down the third base line. Duckworth would steal second base and advance to third after walks issued to Randy Stegall and Anthony Foulk. Duckworth and Stegall would go on to score on an Adam Taylor single down the right field line.
The Crusaders scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth and one run a piece in the seventh and eighth innings. Mark Benjamin gets credit for the save after coming into the game during the 7th inning. Benjamin gave up 3 hits but issued no walks.
Offensively North Greenville was led by Markus Duckworth who was 3-4 with 2 runs batted in. Duckworth also scored three runs and was credited with three stolen bases. Adam Taylor was 2-5 with 2 RBI’s and David Frazier was 2-4 with 2 RBI’s as well.
The start by pitcher Ryan Westbrook was his first career start as well as his first career win. “The key to the game today was we were able to get clutch hits as well as find ways to score,” said head coach Travis Henson, “Ryan [Westbrook] did a great job in his first start and after we took the lead Mark [Benjamin] did a great job in relief for us. It was a great to get a win today but the biggest game of the season is always the next one so we have to get ready for tomorrow.”
Tomorrow the Crusaders will travel to Due West, South Carolina to take on the 23rd ranked Erskine Flying Fleet in a late week double header. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 o’clock pm.