Anderson, S.C.—A late rally fell one run short for the North Greenville baseball team on Wednesday, as the Crusaders fell 13-12 to Anderson University in a non-conference baseball matchup.
The Crusaders grabbed an early advantage after scoring five runs in the first two innings. Taylor McCuen put NGU ahead in the first inning with a two run blast to left field that scored Wheeler Smith. Tony Davila would plate the third run of the inning two batters later with a run scoring triple that pushed home Drew Lipscomb who reached base on a double in the previous at bat.
NGU employed extra base hits in the second inning to extend the lead to five runs. Allen Staton's one out triple would plate Josh Black who reached on a walk. Staton would later score on a fielder's choice grounder that credited McCuen with his third RBI of the day.
Anderson would tie the score at 5 runs each in the second inning however, on six hits. A homerun and a two RBI double would cut NGU's lead to 5-3. Three consecutive singles would plate two more runs for the Trojans who stranded two runners as the Crusaders worked around any other damage.
John Leopard would give NGU a 6-5 lead in the third after a solo blast before the Anderson offense began to click. A seven run third inning and a one run fifth would prove to be the difference maker in Tuesday's game. North Greenville would strike for two more in the fifth to cut the Anderson lead to 12-4 as Black and Leopard picked up an RBI each.
The Crusaders trailed 13-8 as the teams headed into the sixth inning. The NGU bats would come through once again, scratching across two more runs to cut the lead to three. Jessep Polk and Drew Lipscomb would score on Ander miscues, to pull NGU closer to the Trojans.
Both teams would go scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, giving NGU three outs to rally. Allen Staton would inch NGU closer with two outs, smashing a two run homer to right field scoring Mitchell Painter. The Crusaders bid for a comeback would end on the next at bat however as a ground out to the pitcher would end the threat.
In all, the Crusaders pounded out 15 hits, including a double with three triples and three homeruns. NGU had several hitters with multi-hit days, including Leopard who was 3-5 with two RBI and a homerun. Allen Staton was 2-6 with three RBI and a homerun while Drew Lipscomb and Davila both had two hits. Taylor McCuen accounted for NGU's third homerun, going 1-4 with two RBI.
NGU is now 2-4 overall on the season, with a three game set against Kentucky Wesleyan scheduled for Friday and Saturday. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3:30pm in Tigerville.