Tigerville, SC – The Crusaders used a strong offensive effort backed up by quality pitching to edge Conference Carolinas’ foe Erskine College7-5 on Friday afternoon at Ashmore Field.
After a 1-2-3 inning by Erskine, North Greenville’s offense took off, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. After back-to-back singles by Tyler Mitchell and Adam Taylor, Allen Staton hit a deep home run to left-center field to put the Crusaders ahead by three runs.
However, the Flying Fleet put two runs of their own on the board via the home run ball in the top of the second inning to cut into the North Greenville lead. Erskine scored another run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at three runs apiece.
In the bottom of the fourth inning is when the Crusader bats got hot, scoring four runs on five hits in the inning. Andrew Lawrence and Frank Polino got the rally started with back-to-back singles. Wade Wyatt Jr. reached on a fielder’s choice, however, Lawrence was thrown out at third leaving runners on first and second with one out. John Reinholz quickly followed with his second home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left field fence, to put North Greenville ahead by three runs.
A single by Cuyler McAuliffe and a double by Taylor Hollifield kept the inning alive before a sacrifice fly by Mitchell drove in a run to put the Crusaders ahead 7-3 after four full innings. Erskine used another two-run home run in the sixth inning to cut into the lead once again, but the North Greenville relief staff shut the door for the remaining three innings to seal the victory.
Ryan Woodring earned his first win of the season after pitching six innings of work, allowing five runs on eight hits, while striking out five batters. Tim Youtsey allowed just one hit in 2 2/3 innings of work, before Staton recorded his third save of the season in just 1/3 of an inning.
Polino led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance from the plate, including a double and a run scored, while Lawrence was 2-for-4 at the plate. Staton and Reinholz each recorded a home run with three RBI apiece, while Taylor, McAuliffe and Mitchel each scored a run in the contest.
North Greenville (9-8, 2-2 in conference) will conclude the weekend series with Erskine in a double header tomorrow, March 9, with the first game scheduled to begin at noon.