TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Lander's bullpen allowed just three hits over the final six innings as the No. 32-ranked Bearcats defeated North Greenville 2-0 in a non-conference series opener at Ashmore Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Bearcats improve to 3-1 overall, while North Greenville drops to 0-1. Lander will host the Crusaders tomorrow at 5 p.m., at Dolny Stadium in game two of the three-game series.
Lander's Harper Grier (1-0) earned the win on the mound, striking out four, walking one and allowing just three hits in 4.1 innings of relief.
North Greenville's Hunter Dilworth (0-1) took the loss after striking out four, walking three and allowing one earned run on two hits in five innings of work.
Making his first career start, Sam Linn struck out four, walked three and gave up three hits in 2.1 innings.
North Greenville stranded two runners in each of the first two innings and chased Linn after loading the bases with one out in the third inning. However, Grier escaped the jam on his first pitch, inducing a double play ground ball to keep the Crusaders off the board.
The Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Thomas Berry led off the inning with a walk. John Mangum followed with a single, and a sacrifice bunt from Taylor Kellner advanced both runners into scoring position. After Will Jones reached on an error to load the bases, Gatlin Minick drew a walk to score Berry and put the Bearcats on top.
Lander increased its lead to 2-0 in the seventh inning on a solo home run from John Mangum.
For Lander, Mangum batted 2-for-3, with an RBI and a walk, Minick 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk and Lusignan 1-for-4.
Jae Roberts led the Crusader hitters with a 2-for-3 day with a double and a walk.