The North Greenville Crusaders opened up conference play with a loss to Southern Wesleyan 5-2 in Tigerville. A dominant performance by Sourthern Wesleyan starting pitcher Mike Batten held the North Greenville bats in check. Batten received the win while North Greenville starting pitcher Canaan Cropper was charged with the loss.
Both starting pitchers dominated the first four innings of the game. Connor Ewing led the top of the fifth inning with a double to right center. Later in the inning, an RBI groundout by Jason Molden brought in Ewing to put the Warriors on the board. With two outs, Quinton Bent brought in the second run of the inning for Southern Wesleyan with a triple off the right center field fence.
The Warriors would double their lead in the sixth inning. With a runner on first, Connor Ewing sent the ball over the left field fence to make the score 4-0 in favor of Southern Wesleyan. Both runs in the inning were unearned.
Zack Kamerman entered the game to replace Cropper at starting pitcher in the top of the seventh. With a runner on third, a fielder's choice brought in Molden to add one more run to the Warrior lead.
North Greenville threatened in the bottom of the eighth by loading the bases, but came up empty.
Daniel Kight would come in to relieve Kamerman in the top of the ninth, pitching a three up, three down inning.
After 126 pitches, Mike Batten was relieved by Jarrett Joyn to close out the game. Wheeler Smith and Clark Scolamiero would score in the inning to make the score 5-2. Both runs were unearned. The tying run would come up to the plate. With two outs and two runners on base, Connor Grant hit a shot to deep left field but was just short of the fence and was caught for the final out. North Greenville fell to 8-4 while Southern Wesleyan improved their record to 4-10.
Both teams will play a doubleheader Saturday with a scheduled start time of noon.