LEESBURG, Fla. – Greenville Baseball (1-10) clinched the first win of the 2011 season Friday, as they split a double-header with the Green Knights of St. Norbert College (4-6). The GC club dropped the opener 13-9, but bounced back in the nightcap to defeat St. Norbert 7-6 behind a late inning rally at Leesburg’s Pat Thomas Stadium.
Game one opened with Greenville jumping out to a quick 2-1 lead after one. A clutch two RBI single by senior Justin Hubbard scored both Kenny Trager and David Massengill giving GC the advantage. Another RBI single in the second by Kyle Hobar delivered the Panthers a 3-2 lead after the second inning.
A big third inning stretch by St. Norbert helped the Green Knights build an 8-3 lead, delivered by a tandem of key hits. SNC’s Jordan Powers and Matt Hannon slugged a two-run single and a two-run double, respectively, in the third to stretch the margin.
GC roared back in the top of the fourth, compiling six runs on five hits to push the Panthers past the Green Knights 9-8. Greenville got big production from Hobar who added to his already stellar performance with two more RBI’s coming of a well placed double, while Kenny Trager slugged his own two RBI double in the next at bat.
However, St. Norbert College would answer in the fifth with three runs, and add two more in the sixth to rally for the win. Green Knight Ryan Way had a three-run home run in the fifth to put the Green Knights ahead and seal the victory 11-9.
SNC’s Kyle Mahlik picked up the win in relief, going scoreless innings while allowing one hit and no walks with three strikeouts.
Panther freshman Cody Hinterscher was dealt the loss in the opening contest giving up five earned in 1.1 innings of work.
In what was the final contest of the Florida road trip, game two saw St. Norbert lead 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth in the nightcap before the Panthers rallied with five runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to pull a heroic comeback effort.
Senior Daniel Covert shined in the capper, pitching 5.2 innings while striking out five batters, and surrendering three earned. Covert also went four-for-four offensively in the DH role with a run scored.
Though only dealing 1.1 innings from the mound, sophomore Scotty Voyles picked up the win for the Panthers facing six batters and giving up two hits.
Greenville controlled the plate in the final innings, spearheaded by several key Panther performances. Cole Lawson went two-for-two with two RBI, Alex Quirin batted two-for-four while adding two RBI and a run scored, and Ryan Siddle went one-for-one in his appearance and posted two RBI.
Though the Panthers struggled to find consistency for much of the 2011 spring break road trip, the squad seemed determined to get its groove heading into the final day of action. “Heading into Friday, we knew we really needed to put a full game together,” said head coach Lynn Carlson. “It feels good to finally see all of the pieces fall into place and pick up the win. I’m really proud of our guys for battling through the adversity.”
Greenville Baseball will return to the diamond Friday, March 25, as they again play visitor in an afternoon contest against SLIAC foe Eureka College. The game is scheduled for a 3:00 pm start, and will mark the ninth of a 14-game road trip.