Mason, OH- The North Greenville University Baseball team defeated Bluefield College 7-6 in a marathon 10 inning contest to earn the first National Championship in school history.
The Crusaders set themselves up for the championship earlier in the day beating Southeastern University (Lakeland Florida) 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh on an Adam Taylor “walk-off” single. With bases loaded, Taylor ripped a line drive back up the middle scoring Markus Duckworth to earn the teams second walkoff win of the tournament.
In game two against Bluefield, the Crusaders jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the third on an Adam Taylor sac bunt. Bluefield took the lead in the bottom of the third scoring two runs to go up 2-1. Bluefield added to their lead in the 5-1 scoring three runs on three hits and an error.
The Crusaders battled back again in the top half of the sixth inning scoring three runs on three hits including an Adam Taylor solo homerun and a Tyler Callicut double. In the top of the seventh with two runners on base, Adam Taylor once again came through for the Crusaders smashing a double into right center field scoring Randy Stegall and Anthony foulk to tie the game at 5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bluefields Devin Goodyear reached base after being hit by a pitch. Coach Travis Henson looked to closer Brian Giles to end the inning but the Rams would go on to load the bases. With two outs and the winning run 90 feet from home plate, Giles struck out Bluefields Greg Moon to end the inning and the threat.
The Crusaders platted the would be winning run in the eighth inning but the Rams platted a run as well to tie the score at six a piece. Both teams were held scorless in the ninth inning sending the game into the tenth. The Crusaders would once again take the lead in the top half of the 10th when Tyler Callicut scored on a Dayton Lupton single after leading the inning off with a double.
The Crusaders once again held a one run lead in the bottom of the 10th inning. Brian Giles forced two straight outs before a Bluefield runner reached on an error. With a runner on and two outs, Brian Giles forced the Ram’s Ryan Lambert to fly out to center field where senior Randy Stegall gloved the final out of the 2010 baseball season securing North Greenville’s first ever National Champions.
The 2010 season is officially in the record book as the most successful season in North Greenville history. The Crusaders finished the season 46-14 including their 8-0 record in the post seaosn. Four of North Greenville’s post season wins coming in the team’s last at bat. The eight wins also include six come from behind victories.
The World Series MVP award went to North Greenville’s Adam Taylor who proved his worth during the tournament. Taylor, a freshman from Laurens, South Carolina had an improbable tournament run from the plate accounting for two of North Greenville’s three walkoff hits. Taylor was also named to the World Series “All Tournament Team”.
Join Adam Taylor on the all tournament team was Brian Giles, Anthony Foulk, Derek Fulmer, and Drew Provence. In adition to the player awards, head coach Travis Henson was awarded the NCCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year Award.