Redshirt sophomore Chase Jernigan pitched a record of 2-1 on the season. PN Photo/Mykayla Brady
By Andrew Thrift, Copy Chief
The Braves took on the North Greenville Crusaders for three back to back games at Sammy Cox Field which left the Braves with two losses and then a comeback for the final game of the series opener.
The first of three games took place Friday, April 1. The Crusaders were ranked number five at the start of the game and the Braves number 22. The Crusaders crushed the Brave 15-1 with Ethan Ott lacing a one-out single down the third base line to put runners on the corners.
These runners took a 1-0 lead moments later when they got the better end of a halfway successful double steal attempt. The Braves took that loss and focused on their next game.
The next day, the Braves tried again to defeat the Crusaders in the first game of a doubleheader. This game didn’t give the results they were looking for with another Braves loss 10-2.
The Braves didn’t score a run until the fourth inning which left them behind by six points before even getting on the board. Andrew Mills gave the Braves their first point with a home run to center field giving the Braves a little hope.
The second game of the doubleheader finally gave the Braves their 7-5 win. The Crusader’s loss snapped their 11 game win streak.
Later that week, the Braves took on the Queens’ Lions at home beating them 11-10. Bobby Dixon’s two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Braves the season sweep they needed against Queens College.
That weekend, the Braves tried their luck against the Barton Bulldogs for three consecutive games. The first of three games started with the Braves’ 7-4 loss.
The Bulldogs, Cody Naylor, led off the frame with a solo shot to left field. The Bulldogs eventually loaded the bases with two outs to set the table for a 2-run double from Ryan McIsaac that pushed the advantage out to 3-0.
The second game, the Braves loaded the bases with their first three at-bats in the fourth inning. This let the Braves take the lead for good with Trent Harris’s bases-clearing double. Spencer Faulkner’s single hit up the middle of the field in the next at-bat-plated Harris with the 4-1 advantage for the Braves allowing the Braves to win 5-2.
The third game took place the next day with the Braves annihilating the Bulldogs 23-5. Eleven of the Braves registered at least one base hit.
The Braves picked up their ninth series win of the season in the process. UNCP sent 13 batters to the plate in an 8-run frame that established the momentum early. UNCP totaled seven hits in the frame, drew a trio of walks and got RBI at-bats from seven different players.
The Braves travel to Mount Olive where they will take on the Trojans away in Mount Olive. Braves take on the Trojans on Thursday and Friday.