Bristol, TN - The Crusaders dominated Game 1 with a final score of 9-2, but lost Game 2 with a final score of 3-2 in walk-off fashion to split day one of the three-game series. Tucker Burgess earned the win in Game 1 and Canaan Cropper, who was attempting to pitch a complete game, was charged with the loss in Game 2. Standout performances for the day included Clark Scolamiero, who went 3-8 for the day with 4 RBIs and Bennette Hill, who went 3-7 for the day.
Game 1 saw Tucker Burgess start his tenth game of the season. He pitched five shutout innings allowing four hits, no runs, three walks, and four strikeouts. He earned his sixth win of the season. Brandon Leonard, the starter for King, was charged with the loss.
After a scoreless first inning, the Crusaders struck in the second when Clark Scolamiero hit an RBI single to center field to bring in Josh Black. Later in the inning, Eric Gilbert scored on a passed ball.
NGU would add a run in the fourth when Scolamiero hit an infield single to third base to score Gilbert.
More runs would come in the sixth for North Greenville. Scolamiero would come through once again with a 2-RBI double down the right field line to score Black and Wheeler Smith. Ryan Brown would later groundout to bring in Gilbert. Connor Grant would add a fourth run in the inning with an RBI single to center field to score Scolamiero.
Two additional runs came in the seventh thanks to an RBI groundout by Black that scored Hill and an RBI double down the right field line to score Andrew Frazier.
Down 9-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Tornado were able to get on the board with two runs in the inning. With the bases loaded, a double down the right field line by Nicolas Keister would score Heath Loyd and Ben Donaldson. The runs were allowed by Grant, who would retire three of the next four batters to end the game.
Game 2 was a seven-inning game with Cropper getting his 12th start of the season. He pitched 6.2 innings allowing seven hits, three earned runs, one walk, and nine strikeouts.
After another scoreless first inning, NGU once again struck first in the second with an RBI single to center field by Gilbert.
King tied the game in the fourth when Austin Dayton homered down the left field line.
Gilbert would strike again in the seventh with an RBI single to center field to score Black. Cropper attempted to pitch a perfect game in the seventh, but would end up with the loss when Dylan Sligh scored the tying run with a single down the right field line to score Marcus Schreiber and Ryan Sattz came through with a pinch hit walk-off single to right field to score Loyd. Octavio Mirabal, who did pitch a complete game for the Tornado, earned the win.
With the split, the Crusaders move to 28-12 overall and 13-7 in conference play. King moves to 16-20-1 overall and 7-13 in conference play. The two teams will face off tomorrow to determine the series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM.