Tigerville, SC – The Crusader baseball team opened up the 2013 season on Friday, February 1, 2013 with a discouraging 16-6 loss at the hands of perennial powerhouse Lander University at Ashmore Field.
The Bearcats jumped on the board early in the first inning, however the Crusaders quickly even the score with a sacrifice fly from sophomore Allen Staton to drive in redshirt freshman Tyler Mitchell from third base. North Greenville took a one run lead in the second inning when Mitchell drew a two-out, bases loaded walk for his first career RBI.
One run in the third inning and two runs in the fourth inning gave Lander a two run advantage before a sacrifice bunt by junior Taylor Hollifield and an error by the Bearcat’s third baseman drove in Wade Wyatt Jr. to bring the team within one run. Lander continued to pound out hits in the fifth inning as the Bearcats recorded to more runs to push their lead to 6-3 after the top of the inning.
However, North Greenville put together a strong inning, scoring three runs on just two hits while Lander’s defense committed two errors as the score was even at six runs apiece. A four-run seventh inning followed by six combined runs in the eighth and ninth innings gave the Bearcats the 16-6 lead they clung to until the end of the game.
Junior Ryan Woodring was given the start for North Greenville and earned a no decision after pitching four innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out three batters. Freshman Erik Markwat pitched 2/3 of an inning in his first career game and allowed two runs on three hits and surrendering three walks, while sophomore Stewart Hunt was hit with the loss in his first career pitching performance. Hunt gave up four runs on six hits in two innings on the mound.
Redshirt freshman Tim Youtsey pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit with a strikeout, while redshirt senior Griffin Spires pitched the final inning of play, allowing five earned runs on four hits.
At the plate, Wyatt Jr. shined in his first career game, going 2-for-4 at the plate including a double, one RBI and two runs scored. Senior Frank Polino was also 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while senior Adam Taylor was 2-for-5 with a double of his own.
The Crusaders (0-1, 0-0 in Conference Carolinas) will travel to Greenwood, SC tomorrow, Feb. 2 for a double header with the Bearcats beginning at 1 p.m.