Mount Olive, NC – A day after taking down NCAA Division II #1 Mount Olive College, the North Greenville University baseball team was handed its most devastating loss in recent memory as the Trojans down the Crusaders 22-5 on Monday afternoon.
The Crusaders got on the scoreboard early in the game as Allen Staton continued his weekend hot streak, roping a double to right center to score Adam Taylor and put North Greenville ahead 1-0 after the top of the first inning.
Mount Olive came alive in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs on two hits as freshman Tyler Wirsu struggled with control, putting five Trojans on base with free passes. However, North Greenville’s offense rebounded in the top of the third as Taylor Hollifield and Taylor walked, setting up another RBI situation for Staton. The sophomore did not disappoint, belting his first home run of the season over the left field while to drive in three runs and give the Crusaders a one-run lead.
The Trojans scored three runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning and two more in the fourth to go ahead 8-4 after four full innings of play before Tyler Mitchell cut into the lead with a solo home run, his third of the season, to bring the Crusaders within three.
After scoring one run in the fifth inning, the Trojans offense erupted in the sixth inning, scoring 10 runs on seven hits and putting the game out of reach for North Greenville. Mount Olive scored its final three runs of the game in the eighth inning to secure the 22-5 victory and seal the series win.
Wirsu was handed his third loss of 2013 after pitching just 3 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on six hits, while walking six batters and hitting three more.
Tim Youtsey pitched a solid 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits, while Bo Lucas faced six batters in the sixth inning but failed to record an out, allowing six runs on three hits. Aaron Gates also struggled on the mound, allowing four runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning before Colby Tollison closed the sixth inning, pitching 2/3 of an inning and allowing just one hit. Brandon Poole pitched a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts in his first appearance of the season, while Griffin Spires pitched the final inning of the game, allowing three runs on two hits, walking four and striking out three batters.
Staton was the team’s offensive leader, finishing the game 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, one run scored and four RBI. Taylor was 1-for-2 in the game with two runs scored, while Mitchell was 1-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and an RBI. Freshman Luke Hostetler collected the first hit of his collegiate career in the eighth to create a career milestone in the game.
The Crusaders (4-7, 1-2 in Conference Carolinas) will have a chance to rebound with a doubleheader against Brevard College scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27 in Tigerville. First pitch in game one at Ashmore Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.