Tigerville, S.C. – NGU baseball wrapped up its weekend in Florence on Saturday with a 10-4 win over Claflin and a 2-1 loss to Francis Marion in 12-innings.
GAME ONE NGU – 10 CLAFLIN - 4
The Crusaders wasted little time scratching on Saturday, as three runs were platted in the first inning. A pair of singles to start the inning would set the table for Connor Grant who cleared the bases with an in-the-park home run, scoring Clark Scolamiero and Ryan Brown, giving North Greenville a 3-0 edge.
NGU tacked on four more runs in the second inning, using five hits to do the damage. Connor Grant would plate a run on a fielder’s choice to make the score 4-0 in favor of North Greenville. The big blow of the inning would come from Andrew Plunkett who picked up three RBI with a double to right field. The big hit scored Scolamiero, Brown, and Myers to extend the lead to 7-0.
North Greenville pitching kept the Panther offense in check for most of Saturday’s matchup. Claflin finally broke through in the seventh inning though, scoring four runs on four hits to cut NGU’s lead to just three runs. A single and an NGU error would put two on base for the Panthers while another single scored a run and loaded the bases. The Panthers then got a three base knock from Langston that score three runs and cut North Greenville’s lead to three runs (7-4).
North Greenville responded with another big inning of its own, scratching across three more runs on two hits. Punkett would earn his fourth RBI of the day with a single that scored Nathaniel Maggio while Clayton Caudell and Josh Black would also plate runs with a single and a bases loaded walk. North Greenville stranded three runners but extended the lead to 10-4.
24-players saw time for NGU in Saturday’s opener, including eight pitchers. Zack Kamerman earned his first win of the season after tossing three innings with three strikeouts. Six others saw a full inning of action with five registering strikeouts.
Connor Grant (2-4) and Andrew Plunkett (1-4) led the offense with four RBI each. Andrew Frazier (2-3), Ryan Brown (2-4), and Clark Scolamiero (2-2) were NGU’s other top performers at the dish. Scolamiero, Brown, and Grant led the team with two runs scored.
GAME TWO NGU – 1 FMU - 2
North Greenville found itself locked in its second pitcher’s dual of the weekend during Saturday’s second game against Francis Marion. The Crusaders scratched the first run of the game in the third inning when Eric Gilbert platted a run on an RBI groundout, but that would cap the scoring until the bottom of the ninth.
The Crusaders got a gem out of starting pitcher Canaan Cropper to preserve the one run lead. Cropper went seven innings for NGU, allowing just four hits to go along with five strikeouts. The Patriots had trouble figuring out the junior transfer who left three FMU runners stranded including working around a jam in the in the first inning, coaxing a double-play ball with two runners on base and just one out. Cropper retired nine-straight batters from the fourth to the sixth innings.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth inning when the Patriots finally broke through with a solo homer to even the tally. The score remained the same for three more innings as both pitching staffs worked out of sticky situations. The Patriots would score the game winner in the 12th inning as a wild pitch led to the final run of the game.
NGU’s offense mustered nine hits in game two, led by Nathaniel Maggio and Taylor McCuen who had two each. Eric Gilbert finished 1-4 with the team’s only RBI while Wheeler Smith was 1-4 with the only run for the Crusaders.
North Greenville finishes the weekend with a 2-1 record and will play one more game on the road before the home opener scheduled for next week. The Crusaders will take on Anderson on Tuesday at 3pm in Anderson.