Crusaders Swept By King At Home
Tigerville, SC – King University used 27 total runs over the course of two games to complet a three-game sweep of the Crusaders as the Tornado took game one 12-3 and game two 15-4 on Saturday afternoon at Ashmore Field.
The Tornado got ahead early in game one, scoring three runs on three hits in the top of the 1st inning. However, the Crusaders used RBI singles from Mike Habas, Matt Cooper and Foley George in the 1st, 2nd and 4th innings respectively to tie the game at 3-3 after four full innings of play.
In the top of the 5th, two costly errors allowed King to score four runs on just four hits to gain a 7-3 lead before adding one run in the 6th and four more in the 7th to secure the seven-run victory in the opening game of the day’s double header.
Junior Stewart Hunt was hit with the loss, pitching 4 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits and striking out one.
Freshman Patrick Busscher allowed two runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief, while fellow freshman Shane Bishop pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing four runs (two earned) on just two hits. Freshman right-hander Colton Grant recorded the final out of the game in the top of the 7th inning.
Cooper led the offense in game, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Habas and George were each 1-for-3 with RBIs of their own.
The second game of the day saw King continue its offensive output as the Tornado jumped ahead early with three runs on three hits in the top of the 2nd inning before North Greenville scored a run of its own when Habas scored from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame.
King built its lead to a 9-1 advantage with five runs in the 3rd inning and one more in the top of the 4th until the Crusaders cut into the lead in the bottom of the 5th.
Sophomores Cuyler McAuliffe and Wheeler Smith each reached base to open the inning and advanced on a pass ball before a single from freshman Zac Davis drove in a run from third. Junior Jessep Polk then drove home the second run of the inning with an RBI single to make the score 9-3 in favor of King.
The 6th inning saw King score two more runs on one hit to extend the advantage to eight runs, while an RBI single from Habas in the 7th continued the Crusaders comeback efforts.
Over the final two innings of play King scored three runs in the 8th and one final run in the 9th to earn the three-game sweep of the Crusaders.
Sophomore left-hander Matt Laurens suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits with a strikeout before having to leave the game with an arm injury after just two innings on the mound.
Freshman Zach Smith allowed four runs on two hits without recording an out, while sophomore Ben Kramm pitched two innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.
Freshman Chase Day also recorded two innings of relief work, allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit with a strikeout as fellow freshman Matt Eubanks allowed two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Grant allowed one run on two hits in 1/3 of inning of work, while Davis allowed one run on a solo home run in the final inning of the game.
The Crusaders pounded out 11 hits in game two, led by junior Josh Sealey who finished 3-for-4, whle Davis was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Cooper was also 2-for-4 with an RBI as Habas finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored. W. Smith was 1-for-3 in the game with a run scored, while Polk was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The Crusaders (4-18, 1-5 Conference Carolinas) will hit the road on Tuesday, March 18 for a matchup with non-conference opponent Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN at 4 p.m.