Thomasville, S.C.—Allen Station smashed a two run blast to center field to cut a four run deficit to two while Wheeler Smith crossed in the seventh, but the comeback bid fell short for the Crusaders who came up on the short end of a 4-3 decision to Catawba College in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Southest Regional.
The Indians scratched the first run of the game in the fourth on a two out base hit. Catawba scored three more in the fifth inning to advance the lead to 4-0. The Indians completed a successful steal of home to take a 2-0 lead while a two out triple plated two more runs putting the Crusaders in a deeper hole.
Allen Staton got the NGU offense started in the next inning with a two run blast on an 0-2 count, to dead center field. Jae Roberts would come around to score after leading the inning off with a walk. The Crusders would chip away at the lead a little more in the seventh inning as Roberts would plate a run with a sacrifice fly to right field to make the score 4-3. NGU would leave the bases loaded however after a groundout ended the inning.
NGU would have its chances in the ninth inning but mistakes on the base path including a pickoff at first and a runner caught stealing would hand the Indians two outs. A strikeout would end the game as the Indians would find their way to the winner's bracket while dropping the Crusaders to an elimination game.
The Crusaders finished the night with nine hits, three more than their counterparts. Only one of the Indians four runs was earned. Ryne Frankoff took the loss for NGU after five innings of work. Allen Staton was 1-3 with two RBI. NGU had nine other players with a hit including Tony Davilla and Andrew Locklear who were also 1-3.
The Crusaders will take on Wingate Universit tomorrow morning at 11am in an elimination game. The Wingate won the previous two meetings in Febuary by scores of 13-2 and 17-4.