A very windy afternoon in Tigerville resulted in what will likely be one of the most exciting games of the season. With the wind blowing in for the entire game, home runs were not expected to play a key role in the game. However, a home run in the top of the ninth inning by Lander forced North Greenville to step up with some late game herotics, which is exactly what happened.
The afternoon's starting pitchers, Tucker Burgess for North Greenville and Jacob Childress for Lander, did not disappoint as both teams remained scoreless until the fourth inning. An RBI triple by Lander's Alec Dowell put the Bearcats on the board. The next batter, Alex Conaway, connected with a sacrifice fly to bring the Lander lead to 2-0.
North Greenville would score a run of their own in the fourth inning. With Clark Scolamiero in scoring position, a balk was called on Dowell to bring Scolamiero in to make the score 2-1.
Pitching would take over once again until the bottom of the sixth inning. With Tripper Ergl in to pitch in place of Dowell, a 2-RBI double gave North Greenville their first lead of the game with a score of 3-2. Later in the inning with runners on second and third, a sacrifice fly by Adam Frazier gave the Crusaders another run. The next batter, Shannon Glover, drove an RBI single to center field to bring in Taylor McCuen to give North Greenville a 5-2 lead.
The Lander offense came through in a big way in the top of the eighth inning. With Sam Pruitt on the mound for North Greenville, an RBI single by Alec Dowell brought the score to 5-3 in favor of the Crusaders. After a double steal by Alec Dowell and Bailey Connell, an RBI groundout by Alex Conaway put another Lander run on the scoreboard. The next batter, Carson Jones, hit a soft ground ball right in between the pitcher and the catcher for an infield single which brought in the tying run.
North Greenville fought back in the bottom of the eighth. With Lander's Garrett Lovorn on the mound, an RBI single by Adam Fazier gave the Crusaders the lead once again. With one runner on base, the Bearcats brought in Robbie Hoyt to pitch. Two walks by Hoyt loaded the bases, but the Crusaders were unable to get another run. This would prove to be costly.
The Crusaders decided to bring in their right fielder, Connor Grant, to close the game. Down one run in the top of the ninth, the Bearcats brought in Nathan Schreckengost to pinch hit for Gatlin Minick. The decision would pay off in a big way for Lander as Schreckengost connected with a home run to center field to tie the game at 6-6.
With extra innings in the vicinity, Clark Scolamiero started the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle. In stepped in Connor Grant, who had just blown a save in the top of the inning and was 0-4 at the plate. After a tough day, Grant decided to get redemption in a big way, blasting a 2-run home run to left field to give North Greenville the walk-off win. Grant received the win while Robbie Hoyt received the loss.
North Greenville and Lander will continue the series tomorrow in Greenwood with a scheduled time at 5:00 PM.