Due West, S.C.—The North Greenville baseball team opened up a three game weekend series, splitting a double-header with Erskine College, losing the first game 5-2, and winning the second game 8-2.
In game one, the Fleet handed senior right hander Drew Provence his first loss of the season. Provence pitched 8 complete innings and gave up 5 runs, all of which were earned. He struck out 5 and walked 2. Provence is 3-1 on the season.
Erskine jumped on Provence early in game one. The Flying Fleet platted two runs in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on a leadoff base hit, a walk, and two wild pitches. The Crusaders were held scoreless until the top of the 7th, but John Reinholz reached on a leadoff double, and scored two batters later on a groundball to shortstop, cutting the Fleet’s lead to 1 run. Markus Duckworth was credited with the RBI. NGU pounded out 3 hits in the inning, and left 2 on base.
Erskine would go on to add two runs in the bottom of the seventh and another in the 8th to take a 5-1 lead. The Crusaders added a run in the 9th but came up short in their comeback attempt.
The offense was scarce for both teams in game two, until the late innings. North Greenville broke the scoreless tie in the 4th inning when Andrew Lawrence scored on a Frank Polino single to right field. The Fleet evened the tally at 1-1 in the 5th, scoring a run on 4 hits.
NGU’s biggest inning of the day came in the 7th inning, on a rally that started when Taylor Hollifield led the inning off with a double. Hollifield would go on to score on an Erskine error to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Crusaders. With two runners on base, and one out, Derek Fulmer blasted his second homerun of the season over the left field fence the Crusaders a comfortable 5-1 lead. The Crusaders would add two more runs in the inning on RBI singles from Taylor Hollifield, and Markus Duckworth.
On the mound in game two for North Greenville was freshman Marlin Morris, who was virtually unhittable. Morris pitched 7 complete innings, and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits. He struck out 5 batters and never allowed a walk. Morris is now 4-0 on the season, after his second consecutive complete game performance.
The Crusaders as a team are now 11-6 overall, and 4-1 in Conference Carolinas play. The Crusaders and Fleet will wrap up their three game set tomorrow afternoon in Due West, South Carolina.