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Nationally ranked Lander baseball downs Crusaders, 8-3

Lander's Taylor Kellner (13), who batted 2-for-4, slides safely into second base against North Greenville Friday night. (Photo by Dylan Seely)
Lander's Taylor Kellner (13), who batted 2-for-4, slides safely into second base against North Greenville Friday night. (Photo by Dylan Seely)

GREENWOOD – The No. 32-ranked Lander baseball team used some timely hitting Friday night to claim an 8-3 non-conference victory over North Greenville University at Dolny Stadium.

Lander, which won the first game of the three-game series 2-0 on Thursday, improves to 4-1 and will face the Crusaders at 1 p.m. Saturday in Lexington. North Greenville drops to 0-2.

The Bearcats' Nathan Blaylock (1-0) earned the victory in 1.1 innings on the mound, striking out two and walking one, while allowing just one hit. Brandon White entered the game in the eighth inning and was awarded his second save of the season with three strikeouts.

The Crusaders' Kyle Kadlum (0-1) suffered the loss, striking out four, walking one and allowing two earned runs on two hits in 3.1 innings.

North Greenville took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Nathaniel Maggio's solo home run over the right field wall, followed by Drew Lipscomb's RBI single to left center field that plated Foley George.

Lander's Colby Lusignan launched an RBI single to right center field to plate Matt White, who reached on a single, to trim the North Greenville lead to 2-1 in the third. The Bearcats later tied it at 2-all on Taylor Kellner's RBI single that scored Lusignan.

The Bearcats took the lead for good in the third after Zach Daly blasted a two-run homer off the side of the scoreboard in right field.

Blaylock bailed the Bearcats out of a big jam in the fifth when he replaced starter Will Jones on the mound with bases loaded and two outs and struck out Maggio in three pitches to end the inning.

North Greenville's Bennett Hill cut the Lander lead to 4-3 in the seventh with a solo homer to right centerfield.

Daly extended the Bearcats' lead to 5-3 in the seventh when his long fly ball to centerfielder Josh Black was dropped, allowing him to circle the bases.

With bases loaded in the eighth, LU's Thomas Berry blasted a two-run double to left field that sent Matt White and Sage Cornatzer across the plate. John Mangum's sacrifice fly scored Lusignan to finalize the scoring.

For Lander, Kellner batted 2-for-4. Hill went 3-for-5 for the Crusaders, while Maggio and George each had two hits.