Tigerville, SC – In their first game in more than a week, the North Greenville University baseball team dropped a 6-1 decision at the hands of Tusculum College on Tuesday afternoon in Ashmore Field.
The first half of the game was a pitcher’s duel as neither team was able to gain any momentum on the offensive end until Tusculum’s Matt Stevens belted a solo homerun in the top of the fourth inning to give the Pioneers a one-run advantage.
The Crusaders battled back as they have all season and tied the game at one run apiece in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo home run from the bat of Tyler Mitchell, his second of the season.
In the following inning, the Pioneers’ Heath Cromerford hit a one-out, solo home run over the fence to give Tusculum the lead that they never gave up. The North Greenville relief staff gave up four more runs in the top of the ninth inning as Tusculum came away with a 6-1 victory on the road.
Senior Andrew Lawrence started the game on the mound for North Greenville, pitching a strong four innings, allowing one run on just four hits while recording three strikeouts. Freshman Tyler Wirsu was hit with his second loss of the season after pitching two innings, giving up one run on three hits, while Ryan Woodring pitched an almost perfect seventh inning, allowing just one base runner via a walk.
Aaron Gates, Griffin Spires and Bradley Scruggs combined to pitch the final two innings for the Crusaders as the trio allowed four runs on four hits to end the game.
At the plate, Mitchell stood out with a 1-for-4 performance with his only hit being a fifth inning home run, while Lawrence was also 1-for-4 at the plate with a double. Taylor Hollifield, Allen Staton, Frank Polino, John Reinholz and Cuyler McAuliffe each recorded one hit a piece for the Crusaders.
North Greenville (2-5, 0-0 in Conference Carolinas) begins a four-game road trip tomorrow, Feb. 20 as they travel to Wingate, NC for a matchup with South Atlantic Conference member Wingate University at 3:30 p.m.