Tigerville – North Greenville baseball extended its season for at least one more week Saturday with an 8-3 win over Lincoln Memorial College in the Southeast Regional.
The first inning got off to an inauspicious start with the Railsplitters loading the bases with no outs. Starter Ethan Gardner wiggled off the hook, coaxing a double-play and a fly out on the next two batters. LMU scored a solo run on the double-play but stranded a man on third to lead 1-0.
It didn’t take long for NGU to respond, scoring a pair of runs in the home half of the opening frame. Jeremy Whitehead set the table with a leadoff double while Utah Jones provided another two-bagger to make it 2-1 as Whitehead came across to score. The Crusaders got one more run in the inning when John Michael Faile singled in Jones to make it 2-1.
Gardner would spearhead a solid pitching performance for the Crusaders in the final eight innings of play. The senior held the Railsplitters scoreless, throwing four more innings, striking out four and allowing just four hits. LMU’s final two runs came in the ninth inning with the game well in hand.
The third frame turned into the biggest of the day for North Greenville as the Crusaders put some distance between themselves and the Railsplitters. NGU tacked on five runs during the third with a pair of two-RBI base knocks. Josh Senter’s single would plate two while Jone’s second RBI base hit would also plate a run but the fireworks came from the bat of John Michael Faile who delivered a two-run homer, a no-doubter which made it 5-1 at the time.
The Crusaders added one more run in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 8-1. In all, NGU outhit the Railsplitters 12-5 including three doubles and a homer. North Greenville finished the day five of 11 with runners in scoring position. Utah Jones led the charge going 4-5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Faile finished 2-4 a pair of RBI and a run scored while Senter’s base hit made him 1-4 with a pair of runs batted in. Jeremy Whitehead finished the day 2-4 with a run.
The stakes get higher next week as the Crusaders host Catawba College in the Southeast Super Regional starting on Friday night.