All Josh Crump needed to do was put the ball in the outfield deep enough to score the runner from third base. He did even better than that by smashing a shot over the drawn-in outfield that one-hopped the fence in right. Crump’s bases loaded walk-off hit in the seventh inning gave Northwestern a 3-2 win Tuesday night over T.L. Hanna in the Upper State playoffs.
The Trojans will wait until Friday now to host the winner of the Rock Hill/T.L. Hanna game which will be played Wednesday night in Anderson.
“We just talked about it’s down to one game to get to the state,” Northwestern coach Mitch Walters said. “We’ve got to find a way to get one more win.”
The game went into the home half of the seventh tied at two. The Yellow Jackets made a pitching change to start the inning after starter Adam Hill went six innings and allowed only two runs on three hits while striking out eight and walking five. Austin Copeland walked Weston King to lead off the inning. He followed that by hitting Dupree Hart with a pitch and hitting Drew Patrick as he tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt. That set the stage for Crump’s game-winner.
His was the Trojans’ fourth hit of the game to match Hanna’s four in what was an error-free contest.
Eric Taylor got the start on the hill for Northwestern and gave up two runs on two hits in 4 1/3 innings. Taylor issued five walks. He also had a key fourth-inning, RBI-double to the fence in right that scored Colton Pagoota and put the home team up 2-0.
Pagoota had walked to lead off the inning. Taylor was 2-for-3 on the night. The Trojans had scored first in the third when Hart walked, was bunted to second by Patrick, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Crump’s sacrifice fly to center.
T.L. Hanna tied things up in the fifth. Taylor hit a batter and walked another with one out before being lifted for Stuart Hodge. Max McDougald greeted Hodge with a double that hit the chalk on the left-field line and plated both runners.
Hart reached base three times for the Trojans, Garrett Rast walked twice, and Crump had the two RBIs.
Northwestern 3 T.L. Hanna 2
Eric Taylor and Stuart Hodge. Adam Hill and Austin Copeland. 2B - Taylor (NW), Max McDougald (TLH). Leading hitters: NW - Taylor 2-3, 2B, RBI; Dupree Hart 1-2, BB, HBP, R; Josh Crump 2 RBI; Garrett Rast 2 BB. TLH - McDougald 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. Records: Northwestern 23-3; T.L. Hanna 20-10