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Blake Bean
Blake Bean went three-for-five with two runs scored.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Drops Home Opener Against 2nd Ranked North Greenville

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team started its 2024 home slate with a 13-5 defeat to No. 2 North Greenville.

The Crusaders controlled the momentum in the initial stages of the contest by scoring 11 of their 13 runs in the first two innings.

Tyler Parks, who made LR debut on Wednesday, had a rough start for the Bears by allowing five hits and three earned runs through his 0.2 innings of work.

Despite the rough first couple of innings, the Bears held the Crusaders scoreless in the final five innings and got some solid relief help. In addition, the Bears allowed only two hits for the remainder of the game after the first two frames.

Solid contributions came from pitchers like Randan Rigdan, who had his longest outing of the season. The junior tallied four strikeouts and allowed a single hit in his three innings pitched.

Blake Bean had his best day at the plate by recording three hits; all of which were singles. Despite not getting a hit, Tyler McPeak drove in two runs on the day. The graduate student brought in a run after being hit by a pitch in the first, then a sacrifice flyout to center in the sixth. Cole Laskowski had a solid day in the batter’s box by knocking two singles and drawing two walks. The redshirt junior led the team with a .493 OBP in 2023. The Bears recorded a new season-high in stolen bases with four. Cole Stanford, Jovani Wiggs, Bryce Stober and McPeak each stole a base. This marks the first time this season that the Bears have not recorded an extra-base hit.

Even with the loss, Lenoir-Rhyne leads the all-time series, 17-13. This marks the second-straight season that LR has dropped a home opener. The Bears were defeated by Belmont Abbey, 7-2, on Feb. 1, 2023. 13 runs is the most that LR has given up at home since April 23, 2019; the Bears defeated Erskine, 15-14. The 13 runs were more than what the Bears gave up in the opening weekend series to Flagler. LR only allowed 11 runs in those four games combined. LR will get another crack at North Greenville on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Tigerville, S.C.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team is 4-1 on the early season and will continue its 11-game homestand with a non-conference series against Southern Wesleyan. The three-game series will begin on Friday, Feb. 9 with a 3:00 p.m. first pitch.