Tigerville, SC – Thanks in large part to a seven-run seventh inning, the North Greenville University baseball team completed a weekend sweep of West Virginia State University with an 11-4 win on Saturday afternoon in Ashmore Field.
The Yellow Jackets scored the game’s first runs in the top of the third inning when West Virginia State used two RBI singles to gain an early two-run lead.
North Greenville battled back in the fifth inning with three runs on four hits to take a 3-2 lead. Wade Wyatt Jr. led off the inning with a double before Cuyler McAuliffe followed with a single of his own to put runners on the corners. Taylor Hollifield drove Wyatt Jr. in from third on fielder’s choice. An RBI single from Adam Taylor drove in two more runs for the Crusaders to gain the lead.
However, West Virginia State quickly retook the lead in the top of the sixth with a two-RBI single from Tyler Thompson.
The seventh inning was when the Crusader offense heated up, scoring seven runs on five hits to put the game out of reach. After Taylor led off the inning being hit by a pitch, Allen Staton hit a home run that cleared the scoreboard and landed among the dorms behind the field to give North Greenville a one-run lead and spark a rally. An RBI-triple by Frank Polino and a two-RBI double by Wyatt Jr. kept the inning alive for North Greenville as Hollifield also recorded an RBI double in the inning. Tyler Mitchell finished the scoring with an RBI of his own.
The Crusaders tacked on one more run in the bottom of the eighth for good measure on a Wyatt Jr. RBI single to seal the 11-4 victory.
Tyler Wirsu was given the start for North Greenville, pitching six strong innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts. Brandon Poole earned his first win of the season after pitching the final three innings of relief, allowing just three hits.
Wyatt Jr. was the offensive star for the Crusaders, finishing 3-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. Andrew Lawrence was 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, while Staton finished 2-for-5 with a home run, one run scored and two RBI. Taylor also recorded two hits in the game to go with one run scored and two RBI, while Hollifield was 1-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI.
The Crusaders (8-8, 1-2 in Conference Carolinas) will look to get over the .500 mark when they travel to Greeneville, TN for a rematch with Tusculum College on Tuesday, March 5 at 4 p.m.