By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
Today the Young Harris College baseball team used a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning to battle back and defeat visiting Reinhardt University by a score of 11-9.
“I’m not sure that I have ever had a team in all my years coaching that is working as hard as this team to finish the season strong,” said YHC Head Coach Rick Robinson.
YHC (23-20) began the game by scoring one run in each of the game’s first two innings to give the Mountain Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Freshman Travis Donahoo (3-1) started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. The freshman had a shaky inning in the top of the third, which resulted in four runs for Reinhardt (15-23-1). The four-run rally by Reinhardt gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead as the game went into the bottom of the third inning.
Donahoo’s problems on the mound continued when he gave up a three-run Reinhardt home run which gave the Eagles a 7-4 lead to start the fourth inning.
Freshman Jack Morrow started the Mountain Lions’ fifth inning rally with a three-run home run that tied the game up at 7-7. This was Morrow’s first home run since his last blast on March 12 in a match-up with Bloomsburg University that resulted in a 16-3 loss for YHC.
Sophomore Zach Bricknell gave YHC an 8-7 lead after plating freshman Mike Medori on a sacrifice fly ball.
YHC extended their lead to 11-7 in the eighth inning when freshman David Atwood reached base on a double in the gap and scored by way of a sacrifice fly from sophomore Josh Rudnik.
Reinhardt scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but it would not be enough as freshman Tyler Isbell sealed an 11-9 Mountain Lions victory.
“Isbell really wasn’t even scheduled to throw tonight,” Robinson said. “He was actually just down in the bullpen getting ready for his weekend start…so he came in to finish that inning and get the save.”
Donahoo, who started the game for the Mountain Lions, pitched four innings, giving up seven runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Donahoo was relieved by freshmen Oliver Pratt, Brice Merritt and Tyler Isbell. Pratt (3-1) earned the win in four innings of relief. Isbell earned his fourth save of the season in relief.
Junior Taylor Smith (1-3) started on the mound for the Eagles. Smith pitched for 4.2 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits with two walks. Smith was relieved by former Mountain Lion Kendrick McDonald and freshman Jeff Roberts.
The match-up between the Mountain Lions and the Eagles hosted YHC’s tenth annual Steak Night at Zell B. Miller Baseball Field. However, it was an energized Rick Robinson that put a spark in the Mountain Lions when he sprinted back to the team huddle after meeting with Reinhardt Head Coach Bill Popp in the batter’s box before the game.
“The guys really didn’t know that I was going to do that,” Robinson joked. “I think it actually caught some of them off guard. It may have even scared a couple of them.”
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.
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
In game two of a double header against North Greenville University on Saturday, the Young Harris College baseball team jumped out to an early lead and held on to defeat the Crusaders 3-1.
The Mountain Lions put themselves on the scoreboard first with a leadoff home run by sophomore Zach Bricknell to start the first inning. This was Bricknell’s sixth home run of the season.
North Greenville tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when Freshman Tyler Isbell walked in a run with the bases loaded.
YHC pulled ahead in the bottom of the fourth inning when an RBI single by sophomore Zeke Gribble plated freshman Trey Rogers to give the Mountain Lions a 2-1 lead. YHC continued to extend their lead after an RBI double by Bowen Klosinski plated Gribble to extend the Mountain Lions’ lead to 3-1.
YHC held on to their lead throughout the game to finish with a 3-1 victory.
Tyler Isbell started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. Isbell pitched for 3.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits and four strikeouts. Isbell was relieved by freshman Brice Merritt (2-4).
“We make no errors the second game and win a 3-1 game,” said YHC Baseball Head Coach Rick Robinson. “When those kinds of things happen, you’re going to win.”
Sean Willingham (1-1) started on the mound for North Greenville. Willingham gave up three runs on three hits and seven strikeouts.