Wilson, NC – The Crusader baseball team took to the road again, beginning Conference Carolinas’ play splitting a double header with Barton College, winning game one 2-0 but dropping game two 7-5 on Saturday afternoon.
In game one, senior right-hander Ryan Woodring earned his first win of the season with a complete game six-hitter, allowing just one extra base hit while striking out a season-high seven batters.
The Crusaders scored their first run in the game in the 5th inning as sophomore Foley George led the inning off with a double to left field and was driven in on an RBI single from sophomore Wheeler Smith.
North Greenville added an insurance run in the 7th inning when Smith tripled to center field and was driven home on an RBI single by junior Stephen Cantrell to take the 2-0 victory.
Cantrell finished the game 3-for-5 from the plate with an RBI, while Smith was 3-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI. George was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored as freshman Matt Cooper finished 2-for-4 in the first game.
The Crusaders began game two in the same way they ended the first contest as Jessep Polk drove home Allen Staton in the first inning for the early 1-0 lead.
Polk led off the 4th inning with a solo home run, his second of the season to extend the Crusader lead. After a Tyler Mitchell double down the left field line, freshman Chuck Lawing drove in a run with an RBI single. Senior Taylor Hollifield quickly followed with an RBI double to give North Greenville the 4-0 lead after four innings.
Barton was able to get on the board in the bottom of the 4th on a two-run home run from Dillon Rudio, before evening the score at 4-4 with a run in the 5th and 6th innings.
North Greenville took a brief one-run lead in the top of the 7th when Cantrell doubled to left field and later scored on a throwing error from the Bulldogs’ pitcher, trying to field a bunt by Cooper.
However, Barton put runners on first and second with one out to begin the bottom of the 7th before Phillip Cotton belted a three-run home run over the left field fence to take the 7-5 win in the final game of the day.
Staton started game two for the Crusaders, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts, while freshman Patrick Busscher pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing just one hit and recording one strikeout. Junior Kelvin Minnig was hit with the loss after giving up three runs on just one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 1/3 of an inning on the mound.
On offense, Polk finished game two 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and an RBI, while Staton was 2-for-3 at the plate. Cantrell was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and Mitchel, George and Hollifield were each 1-for-3 with a double.
The Crusaders (4-12, 1-1 Conference Carolinas) and Bulldogs will conclude the three-games series tomorrow beginning at Noon.