Jupiter, Fla.—The Crusader baseball team split a twin bill today in the NCCAA South Regional Tournament falling to Southeastern in game one 6-3. The Crusaders bounced back in a elimination game to beat Truett McConnell 4-3 in 10 innings.
North Greenville and Southeastern renewed a young rivalry today in game one in which the Flame gained an early advantage and never looked back. Southeastern grabbed a one run lead in the second inning after loading the bases. The Crusaders responded with a two run bottom half. David Frazier scored the Crusaders’ first run on a Tyler Callicutt double after leading the inning off with a two base gapper to right field.
Southeastern would go on to score three runs in the top of the third to retake the lead. The Flame added two insurance runs in the second inning. The Crusaders tried to claw their way back into the game after cutting the lead to 3 with a run in the bottom of the fourth but could not muster a comeback.
With the loss to Southeastern, the Crusaders found themselves playing Truett McConnell in an elimination game. NGU once again was forced to fight from behind after Mike Benjamin surrendered three runs on six hits in the first two innings of play. Benjamin would however find his groove. After a shaky start, Benjamin settled in to pitch eight innings striking out six batters while walking only one. Bejamin allowed only four base hits in the final six innings.
Offensively the Crusaders waited until the fifth inning to break through. The Crusaders rallied to score three runs on two hits to even the score at three runs. The two squads carried the tie into the bottom of the ninth inning when NGU looked poised to end the game. The Crusaders worked the bases loaded with one out, but a double play on a fly ball and throw to home ended the threat.
The winning run would go on to cross the plate in the 10th inning after Taylor Hollifield was hit by a pitch with bases loaded scoring David Frazier from third. Frazier started the inning with a single. Brian Giles picked up the win for NGU after pitching two innings of hitless and scoreless baseball. Giles struck out two.
The Crusaders avoided elimination with the win over the Bears and are now set for a rematch with Southeastern. The Flame evened the series at three earlier in the day with the win over NGU. The Crusaders must now win two games tomorrow in order to advance to the NCCAA World Series.