Tigerville, SC – Thanks to two walk-off hits by senior Andrew Lawrence and freshman Drew Lipscomb, the Crusaders swept a Saturday double header with Barton College, downing the Bulldogs 4-3 in game one and 7-6 in a 12 inning game two at Ashmore Field on Senior Day.
Game one began as a pitcher’s duel as neither team was able to score until the third inning of play when the Crusaders took a one-run lead on an RBI-single by senior Adam Taylor.
However, Barton put two runs on the board in the top of the fourth to claim a 2-1 edge before North Greenville tied the ball game at two runs apiece in the fifth on a solo home run from Taylor.
The Bulldogs put up another run on the board in the top of the sixth to earn a 3-2 edge heading into the final inning of the game.
With one out on the board in the seventh, a single by Wheeler Smith and a walk by Taylor put two runners on for Taylor Hollifield. Hollifield then laced a single to score Smith and tie the game at three runs each. A walk by Allen Staton loaded the bases before Lawrence drove in Taylor from third with an RBI-single to secure the 4-3 victory for North Greenville.
Senior Ian Haley pitched six strong innings in his sixth start of the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, while striking out three batters. In his 12th appearance on the mound, Bradley Scruggs recorded his third win of the season with a perfect inning of relief.
Taylor led the Crusaders on offense in game one, finishing 2-for-3, including a home run, with two runs and two RBI. Staton was 1-for-2 in the game, while Smith was also 1-for-2 with a run scored. Hollifield and Lawrence each recorded an RBI as Jessep Polk finished the game 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
The Crusaders began game two the way they finished game one, scoring two runs on two hits in the top the first inning, as Lawrence and Frank Polino each recorded an RBI to give North Greenville an early 2-0 lead.
Barton scored three runs over the second and third innings to take a one run lead before building the lead to 5-2 after a two-run sixth.
With three runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth, North Greenville tied the game up at five runs apiece on RBIs from Lawrence, Polk and Foley George.
After forcing extra innings, the Bulldogs took the lead with a run in the 11th innings, forcing the Crusaders into a familiar situation.
With two out in the bottom of the 11th inning, Smith battled through an eight-pitch that ended with his first home run of the season to tie the score at 6-6 and extend the game.
With one out in the bottom of the 12th, a walk by Staton and a single by Lawrence put runners on first and third for the freshman Lipscomb. Lipscomb came through in the clutch with a suicide squeeze bunt to drive in the run from third and claim the 7-6 extra inning victory for the Crusaders.
Freshman Javy Taylor began game two on the mound, pitching five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and striking out seven batters, while fellow freshman Tyler Wirsu struggled through 1/3 of an inning, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Senior reliever Bo Lucas recorded 3 2/3 of no-hit relief, striking out five batters as Staton earned his third win of the season, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts in three innings on the mound.
Staton also led the team at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, while Lawrence was 3-for-6 in the game with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
Polino was 2-for-4 in the game with a run scored and an RBI as Smith was also 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and an RBI. Polk and George eache recorded an RBI in the contest as Lipscomb finished 1-for-2 with an RBI of his own.
With the two wins on Saturday the Crusaders (16-26, 7-14 in Conference Carolinas) keep their post season hopes alive as they travel to Greeneville, TN on Monday, April 15 for a non-conference matchup with Tusculum College at 6 p.m.