Written and Media by Anthony Stephenson.
While many of us were soaking up the sun on a beach or just simply relaxing and taking time off from school for spring break, the Greenville University Panthers Baseball Team headed southwest, down to Tucson, Arizona. While the weather may have been nice and sunny, the players can assure you that this was no vacation.
On Wednesday, March 7, Panthers Head Coach Lynn Carlson and Assistant Coach Stefan Neece loaded up the people mover with everyone’s suitcases and baseball bags, marking the beginning of a 22-hour drive to Tucson. Meanwhile, the rest of the team and players loaded up on a plane Friday night and headed to Las Vegas, Nevada. From there, they drove an hour and a half to their hotel, which was located in Kingman, Arizona.
Waking up on Saturday, the team headed to the Grand Canyon. After their tour, they loaded back up in their vehicles and headed Casa Grande, Arizona. Then they headed to Gilbert where they attended Adam Lamb’s hometown church. Afterward, as stated by Sophomore outfielder Andrew Torbeck, they “..enjoyed some fun in the sun” at Lamb’s house where they relaxed and ate lunch. Following the visit of Lamb’s house, they made their last road trip to Tucson.
Games kicked off on Monday, March 12, playing a doubleheader against Wesleyan dropping both to a score of 7-6 in each contest. Both Greenville and Wesleyan traded leads in game one until Wesleyan took a lead in the 6th inning and never looked back. Taking the loss for the Panthers was Logan Murphy, who pitched the 6th inning and gave up two runs in the process of giving up two hits, a walk, and striking out one. Senior catcher, Travis Ralls, led the Panthers in hits, going 2-2 in game one.
Game two ended up going into extra innings, where the Panthers would ultimately would fall to a final score of 7-6. Sam Alender started on the mound for the Panthers and gave up six runs on five hits. Cole Becker took the loss, giving up one run in the tenth inning. The Panthers were lead offensively by Chandler Dix, Ralls, and Jesse Getz, who all tallied in two hits a piece.
On Tuesday, March 13, Greenville got back into the win column with a 6-2 win over Marian. Jonah Moore pitched this game from start to finish. The Panthers got on the board in the second inning when Sophomore outfielder, Grant Carman, brought in a run on a RBI single. Later in the third inning, the Panthers tacked on four more runs as Lamb and Klaiton Wolff both added RBI singles. Also in that inning, Torbeck added a sacrifice fly and Carman again had an RBI single. Coming up to the plate again in the 5th inning with a chance to add more to his already great day at the plate, Carman added yet another RBI single to his total. Overall, Carman lead the charge offensively, going a perfect 4-4 at the plate with three RBIs.
Greenville continued on Thursday, March 15, after having an off day on Wednesday. The Panthers and Augsburg split the two games in a doubleheader. In game one, GU took a 2-0 lead early in the first inning, but later surrendered the lead in the second inning when Augsburg got on the board, tallying three runs. Augsburg went on to add another run in the fourth inning, but the Panthers punched back in the bottom half of the inning, adding two more runs, tying the game at four. Augsburg put up a lopsided number in the sixth inning, in which they put up five runs. Lamb wound up taking the loss in this one as he threw five innings. Greenville was lead offensively by Austin Marsh, who had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with a triple and two RBIs. The final of game one was 9-6 Augsburg.
In game two Greenville came out swinging early and often, and took a commanding 8-0 lead before Augsburg could bring a runner in. By the sixth inning, the Panthers had all but put this game away with a 21-3 lead. Marsh’s hot bat carried over to the mound in game two as he went four innings only allowing two runs on six hits. Dix drove in four runs and went a perfect 2-2 on the day. Adding to the huge offensive output were Carman and Sam Hodges, both recording three hits a piece. Ralls also had a big day at the plate, going 2-4 with three RBIs. Getting the win in this one was Lukas Whitten, who threw one scoreless inning of relief. Greenville wound up winning 21-14.
Greenville wrapped up their trip on Friday and Saturday, playing Framingham State and Hamline. With a final score of 11-10, Greenville downed Framingham. Greenville’s Logan Murphy started this game on the mound, going three-and-a-third innings, giving up six earned runs. Whitten came in and lasted three-and-two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs. Greenville found themselves in a 10-4 deficit before clawing their way back into it.
Bryce Pearce had the hot bat this game, going 2-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Wolff came in and held down the fort on the mound the last two innings, giving up no runs on his way to his second victory of the year. Marsh provided the late game fireworks as he hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 9th inning, allowing Dix to score.
On Saturday, the Panthers took on Hamline in their final game of spring break. Greenville went in to this game hoping to start a winning streak. They had the right player on the mound to do so. From start to finish, Pearce showed his dominance. Pearce went on to throw seven innings of one-hit baseball, giving up one run that was unearned. Alendar came in and shut the door on Hamline, throwing two innings of one-run baseball.
On the offensive side of things, Greenville got going early again, jumping to a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Wolff and Marsh. Hamline got one back in the 3rd, but Greenville responded by adding another run in the 4th. Both Ralls and Marsh collected RBI singles in the bottom of the 7th, adding a few insurance runs to their lead. Greenville won this game with a final of 5-1.
As quoted by sophomore Caleb Ross, “Hopefully this week provided us with the assurance that we needed that we are as good as advertised. Anything is possible with this team as long as we put in the needed work and keep our eye on the prize.” With the season fully underway, make sure to tune in to some Greenville Panther Baseball!