North Greenville won its first conference series of the season with a 9-0 win and an 11-7 loss in day two of the opening conference series of the season against the Barton Bulldogs. The Crusaders had no issues in the first game thanks to five hitless innings pitched by Michael Giacone as well as four multi-run innings. NGU also led 7-2 in the second game, but Barton would score nine unanswered runs to salvage the final game of the series.
Innings 1-3 (4-0 NGU)
Michael Giacone took the mound for the Crusaders. Both pitchers would pitch a three up, three down 1st inning. After the Bulldogs went down in order again in the top of the 2nd, North Greenville put together two runs in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single to right center by Connor Driscoll and a wild pitch that scored Jeffrey Chandler. Giacone continued his dominant performance in the 3rd by striking out the side. NGU followed up by scoring two more runs off of two errors by BC.
Innings 4-6 (9-0 NGU)
Barton was able to get a runner on base for the first time in the 4th due to a walk. After a second walk, a double play retired the side witha runner left on base. NGU loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning off a single through the left side by Driscoll and walks by Jared Williams and Utah Jones, but would come up empty and leaving the bases loaded. Giacone walked two batters to put two on base with one out, but would strike out the next two batters to end the threat. The Crusaders added to their lead with three runs, an RBI single by Sean Parsons, an RBI double by Driscoll, and a wild pitch that allowed Driscoll to score. Kipp Rollings relieved Giacone in the top of the 6th. He would give up three hits in the inning, but no runs. Once again, NGU added two runs in the bottom of the inning when Adam Sasser homered to center field to score two runs.
Inning 7 (9-0 NGU)
Duncan Callahan was called on to pitch the final inning of the game for the Crusaders. He would retire the first two batters, but would run into some trouble by allowing a single and a walk. However, a fly out to center field ended the game and clinched the series for NGU.
Innings 1-3 (1-0 NGU)
Starter Ethan Garner began the second game by allowing just a single in the 1st and no runs. In the bottom of the inning, Adam Sasser came through with a two-out RBI double to right field. Barton would connect for a double in the top of the 2nd, but would score no runs while the Crusaders went three up, three down in the inning. Garner continued to escape trouble in the 3rd when he allowed a walk and a single, but no runs. Jeremy Whitehead doubled to right field in the bottom of the inning with one out, but the next two were retired to strand him.
Innings 4-6 (4-2 NGU)
The Bulldogs came to life in the top of the 4th with two runs to take the lead. NGU would quickly come back with an RBI double by John Michael Faileto tie the game. After Barton left the bases loaded in the top of the 5th, the Crusaders took the lead back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single to center field by Jones. Brock Robinson entered the game to take over on the mound in the top of the 6th. He would allow a leadoff hit, but retired the next three batters. After Jeffrey Chandler Jr. doubled and Driscoll singled to third base, a sacrifice bunt by Treyce Bouknight added a run for NGU.
Innings 7-9 (7-7 Tied)
BC connected for two hits in the top of the 7th, but left both runners on base. North Greenville seemingly put the game away in the bottom of the inning with three runs including Jones scoring on a wild pitch, an RBI groundout by Chandler, and an RBI single up the middle by Faile to put the Crusaders up 7-2. With Jared Lembcke entering the game to pitch, a two RBI double as well as an RBI groundout allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game. After the Crusaders were retired in order in the bottom of the inning, Barton struck in the top of the 9th with a two run game-tying home run by Juan Martinez off Brent Herlong, who relieved Lembcke in the 9th. North Greenville had a chance to end the game, but left the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning.
Innings 10-11 (11-7 BC)
A quiet 10th inning saw just one hit for the Bulldogs while NGU went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the 11th, Barton came through with a two RBI double and a two RBI single to take a four run lead. The Crusaders responded with Williams and Chandler reaching base in the inning, but both were unable to score.
Michael Giacone put together another strong performance, pitching 5 no-hit innings and receiving a win.
Connor Driscoll recorded 4 hits, 2 RBIs, and a double.
Adam Sasser finished his day with 3 hits, 3 RBIs, a home run, and a double.
North Greenville will take Sunday off, then return to action Monday, February 25th against the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish in Tigerville.