By Ryan Decker
LENOIR, NC – The Charlotte Crushers (6-7) earned its second win of the year over the defending Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League champion Lenoir Oilers (9-9-1) in Game 1 of Saturday’s double header at Walker Stadium.
Myles Levy earned the win on the mound, getting five runs of run support from his offense during his time on the hill.
Lenoir trailed for nearly the entirety of Game 2 as well, but tallied four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, earning a win in walk-off fashion on a two-run home run Jimmy Marcelli.
Levy worked very effectively in the first game of the double header.
He registered 1-2-3 innings in four of the six frames he pitched in, including three straight from the third through the fifth.
Levy allowed just two runs to score while scattering just four hits, pitching with the lead from the fourth inning on.
Charlotte took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, getting the first run on a solo home run by Josh Hollifield, and scoring later in the inning on an RBI-triple down the right field line by Quinton Allwran.
Hollifield was 2-for-4 at the plate in the first game, and hit a combined 4-for-8 on the day.
The Crushers tacked on two more runs in the sixth on a bases clearing single off the bat of Daniel Barrett.
Andrew Davis came on in relief in the seventh. Even though the Oilers threatened to make it a closer game, Davis got the necessary outs without surrendering a run, securing a 5-2 victory for the Crushers in Game 1.
Game 2 saw the Charlotte offense get off to a good start, as it scored three runs in the top of the second.
With one run already in, touching home on a wild pitch with the bases loaded, Nick Roates and Noah Whalen hit back-to-back singles to drive in the other two runs and give the Crushers an early 3-0 lead.
They tacked on two more runs in the fifth, after once again loading the bases, to take what appeared to be a commanding 5-1 lead, especially with Crusher starter Jacob Barker dealing on the mound.
Barker faced the minimum in the first three innings, and faced just two over the minimum after completing his fifth inning of work.
Lenoir scored just once off Barker to that point; that run coming in on a weakly hit infield single by Ryan Ricer with two outs.
The Oilers offense got going in the sixth.
Colton Henthorne led off with a single, and he scored on a single by Brady Chappell three batters later, and knocking Barker out of the game.
Closer Patrick Humphries ran into trouble in the seventh, giving up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Matt Ward.
That long ball brought Lenoir back to within one run, 5-4.
Young reliever CJ Cecil was then brought in to pitch, striking out the first batter he faced for the second out, but then issuing a free pass to Stephen Parker.
The walk hurt.
Marcelli connected on the 1-1 pitch and sent it over the fence in left for the Oilers’ second home run of the inning, and their second walk-off win in as many days.
Reliever Jonathan Mouw earned the win on the mound for Lenoir, striking out six hitters in just 2.2 innings pitched. Only two Charlotte hitters reached base during his time on the mound.
The final score in Game 2 of 6-5 was the only time in the two games the Crushers trailed. Charlotte stranded a combined 13 runners between the two games, though the offense was productive.
Charlotte is back in action Sunday at 2 p.m. in Roanoke, VA to take on the Rails at Kiwanis Field.
There will not be broadcast coverage of that game, however, there will be a recap story on the Crushers website following the conclusion of Game 2 of the double header.