Gaffney, SC – The struggles of the North Greenville University baseball team continued on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders were swept in a doubleheader by Limestone College 11-4 and 7-5 in Conference Carolinas play.
Limestone continued to stay hot on offense in the first game of the day, scoring two runs in the second inning of play on an RBI single to take and early 2-0 lead.
The Saints erupted for six runs on five hits in the third inning to extend their lead to 8-0 after three before scoring three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to build an insurmountable lead.
North Greenville scored two runs in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Tyler Mitchell and an RBI single by Frank Polino to cut into the lead.
The Crusaders continued to battle as an RBI double by John Reinholz and an RBI single by Allen Staton scored two more runs in the seventh but the rally fell short, leading to the 11-4 defeat.
Andrew Lawrence suffered the loss in game one after pitching just three innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits, striking out three batters. Griffin Spires pitched the final three innings of work, allowing just three runs on four hits in relief.
Staton and Reinholz eached finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI each, while Wheeler Smith was 2-for-3 on offense with a run scored. Mitchell was 1-for-2 at the plate as he drew two walks while hitting his sixth home run of the season, scoring a run and recording an RBI as Polino finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI of his own.
Game two began with a bang as Limestone used a solo home run in the first inning of play to gain an early lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Staton and Lawrence tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning before Limestone took back the lead, scoring a run on a pass ball in the bottom of the frame.
After reaching on an error to begin the fifth, Taylor Hollifield tied the game at two runs apiece in the fifth inning. However, the Saints scored five runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a bases loaded triple, to earn a 7-2 advantage after five full innings of play.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Hollifield and Reinholz in the sixth inning brought the Crusaders within three runs, while a solo home run from Staton in the ninth kept the Crusaders alive before Limestone shut the door and sealed the series victory.
In his second start of the season, Ian Haley suffered the loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on just four hits, striking out three and walking two batters. Tim Youtsey closed out the final 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing just one hit in his 11th appearance of the season.
Polino starred at the plate in game two, finishing 3-for-4 including two doubles with a run scored. Staton was 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and his sixth home run of the season, scoring two runs and driving in another, while Reinholz, Lawrence and Hollifield each recorded a hit in the game with one RBI each.
The Crusaders (9-15, 2-7 in conference) will take the field again on Tuesday, March 19 as they travel to Milledgeville, GA for a matchup with Georgia College & State University at 3 p.m.