Bristol, TN – With their postseason hopes on the line, the Crusaders split a double header with Conference Carolinas’ foe King University, dropping game one 3-2 in extra innings and winning game two 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
In game one, the Crusaders led for much of the contest, scoring two runs in the first four innings as Adam Taylor and Jessep Polk each recorded an RBI.
However, King used two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and force extra innings, winning the ball game in the bottom of the 10 on a bases-loaded RBI single to end it and claim the one-run victory.
Junior ace Ryan Woodring was stellar on the mound, pitching eight full innings, allowing just one run on seven with three strikeouts. Allen Staton suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.
At the plate, Taylor and Staton led the team with identical 3-for-5 performances, while Wheeler Smith was 2-for-5 from the plate with a triple and two runs scored.
In the second game of the day North Greenville earned the win behind another strong performance on the mound, this time by senior Ian Haley. Haley claimed his second win of the season with a complete game, his fourth of season, allowing just one run on six hits with four strikeouts.
After the Tornado scored a run in the third to take an early lead, the Crusaders fought back with two runs in the fifth on a two-run home run from Tyler Mitchel to take the lead.
An RBI single by Staton in the sixth gave North Greenville an insurance run and secured the 3-1 victory in the double header split.
Mitchell was 1-for-3 at the plate in the game with a home run, an RBI and a run scored, while Staton was also 1-for-3 with an RBI. Taylor, Andrew Lawrence and Drew Lipscomb also record one hit apiece in the contest.
The Crusaders (17-28, 8-15 in conference) now must wait as their Conference Carolinas Tournament hopes hang in the balance. As of right now, North Greenville’s next contest will be on May 3 at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC as the Crusaders will take on the Saints of Limestone College at 7 p.m.