YHC baseball falls to Crusaders in game 1; hosts free clinic for youth
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
On Saturday, the Young Harris College baseball team fell 14-10 to the visiting North Greenville University as six team errors plagued the Mountain Lions defense.
The Crusaders (23-9) stuck first by scoring a run in the first inning of game one in Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Mountain Lions (17-18) answered with one run in the bottom of the third off of a run driven in by freshman. David Atwood. Atwood later scored by way of a two-run home run from sophomore Josh Rudnik. This was Rudnik’s fourth home run of the season.
North Greenville plated four runs in the top of the third inning to put the Crusaders on top 5-3 after YHC committed three fielding errors.
“It’s simple. It’s what I’ve said all along,” said YHC Baseball Head Coach Rick Robinson. “When you play defense you win, when you don’t play defense you don’t win.”
YHC scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game up at 5-5.
North Greenville started a late rally in the top of the seventh inning as Adam Taylor plated Brian Giles on a single. The rally resulted in a 9-5 Crusaders lead as the game entered the bottom of the seventh.
The Mountain Lions answered the Crusaders’ rally with one of their own when freshman Jack Morrow plated freshman David Atwood with an RBI single. YHC continued to rally as freshman Evan Carr scored off of a single by freshman Trey Rogers.
Freshman Ryan LaRose put the Mountain Lions within one run of the Crusaders after plating freshman Jack Morrow by way of a single. With one out in the bottom of the seventh and the bases loaded, sophomore Zach Bricknell attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Rogers was thrown out at the plate.
Freshman Tommy Ferguson then plated Mike Medori and Josh Rudnik to give the Mountain Lions a 10-9 lead at the end of the seventh inning.
The Crusaders battled back in the top of the eighth inning as freshman Adam Moore allowed North Greenville to score five runs. The rally by North Greenville gave the Crusaders a 14-10 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
YHC held off North Greenville in the ninth inning with the pitching of freshman Taylor Topping, but the Mountain Lions were unable to recover from the four run deficit resulting in a 14-10 Crusaders victory.
Rudnik (3-3) started on the mound for YHC. Rudnik threw for six innings and allowed four runs on four hits and six strikeouts. Rudnik was relieved by freshmen Oliver Pratt (2-1), Adam Moore, and Taylor Topping.
Drew Provence started on the mound for North Greenville and earned his third win of the season. Provence pitched 6.1 innings and allowed six runs on 12 hits with five strikeouts. Provence was relieved by Caleb Phillips and Nate Richards.
The Saturday doubleheader for the Mountain Lions was preceded by a youth baseball clinic given by YHC players and coaches that was free for all that attended. The clinic started at 11 a.m. and the 35 youth baseball players that attended the clinic were provided a free meal and also invited to attend the doubleheader between the Crusaders and the Mountain Lions.
“We have done that every year,” said Robinson. “People enjoy coming out and watching their kids work with the players. I am all about helping the community and making the community feel part of the college.”
The Saturday also featured YHC baseball’s Junior Day, which attracted a number of high school recruits that have been targeted by the Mountain Lions. The high school juniors were given a tour of the YHC campus and invited to watch the match-up between YHC and North Greenville.