Wilson, N.C.—North Greenville dropped just its second series opener in league play this season as the Barton Bulldogs stole a 6-5 decision away from the Crusaders in 11-innings, Friday evening.
North Greenville cruised to a 3-0 lead by the third inning with a run in the first and two in the third. Nathaniel Maggio provided the first RBI of the game with a double that scored Andrew Frazier in the opening frame while two more runs would aid NGU’s efforts in the third, both scoring on a Bulldogs throwing error.
Barton would answer with a single run in the home half of the third frame. The Crusaders would benefit from another fielding miscue from the Bulldogs in the fourth inning as Josh Black crossed the plate on a batted ball from Frazier that was misplayed but the Barton shortstop.
North Greenville’s three-run lead would quickly disappear though as the Bulldogs went to work in the fourth inning. An RBI single would cut North Greenville’s lead to two runs while a sacrifice fly would pull the Bulldogs to within one run. The equalizer came on another single up the middle that scored the fourth run of the game for Barton and tied the game at 4-4.
NGU would respond in the fifth inning as Drew Lipscomb would put the Crusaders back on top by one run. His single to right field would score David Houser to make the score 5-4 in favor of North Greenville.
The score would stand until the eighth inning when the Bulldogs were able to manufacture another run, tying the game for the second time. The Bulldogs would score the tying run on a squeeze bunt but would strand the potential winning run on base as NGU pitching picked up the final out of the inning.
NGU would have its chances to plate the winning run in each of the final two innings but were unable to produce. The Crusaders left runners on second base in both of the 10th and 11th innings. The Bulldogs were retired in order in the 10th but a bases loaded infield single in the 11th inning would scratch across the winning run for the Bulldogs, dropping North Greenville to 18-4 in league play.
The Crusaders had four players with at least two hits including Drew Lipscomb who was 3-5 with an RBI. Andrew Frazier finished 2-6 with two runs scored while Bennette Hill was 2-4 with a run. Foley George also had two hits for North Greenville. The Crusaders stranded 11-runners while the Bulldogs left 14 on board.
Zack Kamerman got the start and the no-decision on the mound for North Greenville after pitching four innings, allowing four runs (1 earned) on 10-hits. John Leopard took the loss after coming in, in relief in the 9th. NGU fell to 31-12 overall on the season.
The Crusaders and Bulldogs will wrap up the series Saturday afternoon with a double-header starting at 12pm.