Mount Olive, NC - After weather moved the weekend series back two day, the North Greenville University baseball team split a doubleheader with NCAA Division II #1 Mount Olive College on Sunday afternoon. Thr Trojans survived a late really to take game one 7-4, while the Crusaders handed Mount Olive its first loss of 2013 with a 6-4 victory in game two.
After a scoreless first inning by both teams in game one, the Trojans scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning to gain a two-run lead. Mount Olive continuted to flex its offensive muscle, scoring one run each in the fourth and sixth innings.
The Crusader offense heated up in the top of the seventh, scoring four runs on five hits in the inning. Andrew Lawrence began the inning with a lead-off single, followed by a John Reinholz single to put two-runners on with one out. Wade Wyatt Jr. stepped to the plate and fought through an eight-pitch at-bat to scorch an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Lawrence from second. After a sacrifice fly by Cuyler McAuliffe brought Reinholz across the plate, Taylor Hollifield belted a two-run home run over the left field fence to cap off the scoring for North Greenville and cut into the Trojans lead.
Mount Olive's Geno Escalante homered in the bottom of the seventh to add on an insurance run and eventually seal the 7-4 victory at home.
Ryan Woodring took the loss for North Greenville in the first game after pitching six full innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Aaron Gates allowed one run on two hits in one inning of relief, while Bo Lucas pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance of the season.
Lawrence led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance including a run scored, while Wyatt Jr. was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Tyler Mitchell was also 2-for-4 in the game and Hollifield was 1-for-4 with a home run, run scored and two RBI.
In game two, the Crusader offense erupted for three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. After Mitchell was hit by a pitch and Adam Taylor singled, Staton ripped a two-RBI double to left center to put North Greenville on the board. Lawrence drove Staton home from second on the next at bat to put the Crusaders ahead 3-0 early on.
Mount Olive put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame to cut into the lead before another double by Staton in the third inning drove in the Crusaders’ third run of the game.
North Greenville held the Trojan offense was quiet until the fourth inning when they put another run across the plate, before Staton’s third double of the game drove Mitchell home to put the Crusaders ahead by two runs.
The Trojans fought back with one run in the bottom of the fifth inning to bring the deficit to one run. However, the Crusaders used an RBI double by Taylor in the top the seventh inning to seal the 7-4 victory.
Lawrence earned the win in game two for North Greenville, his first of the season, after allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings while striking out four batters. Staton earned his second save of the season after pitching scoreless innings to close the game.
At the plate, Staton was on fire, finishing 3-for-4 with three doubles, four RBI and one run scored. Taylor also had a strong game at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI, while Lawrence was also 2-for-3 with an RBI. Mitchell also recorded a hit while scoring two runs.
The Crusaders (4-6, 1-1 in Confernce Carolinas) will look to take the series tomorrow, Feb. 25 as they play in the final game of the three-game series beginning at 2:30 p.m.