Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville baseball team returned to the diamond on Saturday for a double header with Indiana University of Pennsylvania losing the first game 5-4 but bouncing back in the rubber game winning 15-14 in extra innings.
Michael Benjamin started the first game of the day for NGU pitching five innings and giving up four runs on four hits. Nate Richards came on in relief pitching 2 innings and giving up one run on two hits.
IUP jumped ahead of the Crusaders early scoring two runs in the first inning. North Greenville was held scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Dayton Lupton scored on a single by Anthony Foulk. The Crimson Hawks scored two more runs in the fifth inning extending their lead to three runs.
The Crusaders responded tying the game with a three run bottom of the sixth. The late inning rally started with an Anthony Foulk double which was followed up by an Adam Taylor walk. With two runners on, Derek Fulmer would step up to the plate and smash a three run homer to left field which tied the game at four heading into the seventh inning.
IUP scored a run in the top of the seventh which gave the Hawks the lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Marcus Duckworth led the seventh off with a single for NGU and advanced to second base. With two outs Adam Taylor ripped a line drive to second base that was wrangled on an acrobatic catch from the IUP second baseman to end the threat and the game. The loss snapped North Greenville’s nine game winning streak.
North Greenville used the strategy of pitching by committee in the second game of the day. The Crusaders used five different pitchers during the eight inning contest. Ryan Westbrook started the game for North Greenville giving up four runs on three hits in two innings of work. In all the Crusaders pitching staff gave up 14 runs on 13 hits. Brian Giles closed the game for NGU pitching 2.2 innings allowing three hits but holding IUP scoreless and picking up the win for North Greenville.
At the halfway point of the game it looked as if NGU was on the verge of losing their second game in a row but the Crusaders had other plans. Losing 12-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth but the Crusaders cut into the IUP lead scoring six runs making the score 12-9. The Crimson Hawks scoring two more runs in the sixth inning but the Crusaders would tie the game at 14 after their five run sixth.
The game headed into extra innings after both teams failed to score in the seventh. After issuing a leadoff walk, pitcher Brian Giles would pick up two outs in a row on ground outs, and end the inning picking off a runner on first base.
The Crusaders were able to load the bases in the bottom half of the eighth with two walks and a hit batsman. With one out and bases loaded David Frazier stepped to the plate. Frazier ended the game with one swing smacking a chopper over the head of the second baseman scoring Anthony Foulk. The win secured another series win for North Greenville and moves the team to 13-3 on the season.
The Crusaders will play again on Monday with a double header on the road against Emmanuel College.