Hickory, NC – In a road matchup with Lenoir Rhyne University, the North Greenville University baseball team dropped a heartbreaker 13-12 to the Bears on Friday afternoon.
After Lenoir Rhyne opened the game with two runs in the first inning, the Crusaders battled back to score three run of their own in the top of the second inning thanks to RBI singles from Josh Sealey, John Reinholz and Taylor Hollifield. The Bears retook the lead with another two-run inning in the bottom of the second before an RBI double by Andrew Lawrence tied the game up at 4-4.
The Bears regained their lead in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single from Landon Elks, making the score 5-4 in favor of LR after three full innings. After a solo home run from Sealey in the fourth inning tied the game once again, the Crusaders two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings gave the team a 9-5 lead before the Bears scored a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 9-6 after six full innings.
Lenoir Rhyne scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut into the Crusaders’ lead, before another RBI double from Lawrence kept North Greenville ahead by two. The Bears took a one run lead after a three-run eighth inning putting the pressure on the Crusader offense heading into the final inning of play.
Holding true to their nature, the Crusader offense never let up, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning as redshirt-freshman Tyler Mitchell hit his first career homerun, a two-run to score John Reinholz and give the Crusaders a one-run lead. However, the Bears rallied in the bottom of the inning to score two runs and secure a home victory.
Junior Ryan Woodring started on the mound for North Greenville, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (5 earned) on 16 hits and striking out five batters in the game. Javy Taylor pitched one inning, allowing two runs on one hit before Tim Youtsey threw 1 1/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. Allen Staton was hit with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning on the mound.
Sealey led the offense, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the plate, including a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Lawrence also a strong outing at the plate, finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBI, Reinholz was 3-for-4 with two RBI of his own, while Frank Polino was 2-for-5 at the plate, finishing with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI.
The Crusaders (1-3, 0-0 in Conference Carolinas) will host the Bears in a double header tomorrow, Feb. 8 at Ashmore Field in Tigerville beginning at noon.