TAMPA, Fla. – The Lander baseball team fell short in a pair of comeback effort on day two of the Steinbrenner Field Spring Classic, falling 5-2 to No. 9-ranked North Greenville and 12-8 to No. 19-ranked Mount Olive.
Lander (1-2) fell behind 4-0 to North Greenville (1-1) after seven innings, but plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. After Carson Jones stole second, Landon Dupert brought him home in his first collegiate at-bat, singling up the middle to put the Bearcats on the board. BJ Bush replaced Dupert on the basepaths and Mike Fitschen put two runners in scoring position with a pinch-hit double. Bush scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-2, but Lander could not muster another run.
Davis Cunningham (0-1) suffered the loss for Lander, allowing just one run on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5.1 innings. NGU's Ethan Garner (1-0) earned the win by surrendering just two hits over five shutout innings.
Against the Trojans (2-0), Lander fell behind on a first inning leadoff homer, but answered in the top of the second when Justin Wager launched his first career home run over the right field wall. The Bearcats moved ahead in the top of the third when Colton Yeager drove home Bailey Connell with an RBI single. A pair of Mount Olive home runs and an RBI single put the Trojans up 5-2 in the bottom of the third, but Roury Glanton answered in the top of the fourth with a solo shot to pull the Bearcats within two runs.
A five-run fourth for the Trojans put UMO up 8-3, but Lander managed another run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from Nathan Schreckengost that scored Yeager. Mount Olive plated four more runs in the seventh to move ahead 12-4. Glanton delivered a grand slam in the ninth, his third homer in three games, to end the scoring. Justin Walker (0-1) took the loss for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats wrap up the weekend with another game against Mount Olive Sunday at 11:00 a.m.