North Greenville opens Championship with comeback win

North Greenville Baseball
North Greenville Baseball(FOX Carolina)
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 8:40 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - North Greenville completed the comeback to win its first game in the NCAA Division II baseball championship Sunday, June 4 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

The defending national champions found a spark in the bottom of the eighth inning, turning six hits into four runs to take a lead over Augustana.

The Crusaders had just one hit coming into the eighth inning that came back in the first.

The pitching dual went both ways in Cary Sunday night. The Vikings had one hit in the fifth inning to score the first run of the game and give Augstana the lead. The lead-off triple to center was scored on a sacrifice fly. Augustana had just three hits all night, two on Crusaders starter Reece Fields.

Fields went seven innings for North Greenville. He gave up one run and two hits, striking out eight and walking just three. Head coach Landon Powell turned to Matthew Taubensee and Michael Rodriguez out of the bullpen.

The tied turned in the eighth inning as the Crusaders started to rack up the hits, culminating in their first runs of the game on the bat of John Michael Faile. The NCAA Division II single-season home run and RBI record holder added another to his total with a two-run double to right field.

Marek Chlup added some insurance with a two-run homer for North Greenville, making it 4-1 at the end of the frame.

Rodriguez retired three straight Vikings to secure the win and put the Crusaders in the winner’s bracket.

They will play Angelo State Tuesday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. Angelo State advances following a 2-1 win in their opening game Sunday afternoon.

Augustana will play Southern New Hampshire on Tuesday, June 6 at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game.