Greenville College took control of the SLIAC East Division this weekend with a series win over MacMurray College in this week's SLIAC Game of the Week. Greenville won two of three games in the weekend series and now hold a two game lead in the loss column in the East Division standings.
Both of Greenville's wins in the series were in come from behind fashion, starting with a thrilling ninth inning come back in game one. MacMurray jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings of play as Greenville was held to just four hits through the first five frames. However the Panthers finally broke through in the top of the sixth when Jared Storment led the inning off with a home run to get the Panthers on the board. They added three more runs in the inning to cut the score to 5-4 and begin their come back.
The Panthers tied the game up in the next inning on a wild pitch but left a runner stranded at second base. MacMurray, who started the series with the second most conference wins this season, answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to grab a 7-5 lead. Greenville's offense, which got off to a slow start, found its groove and continued to push runs across the plate; adding two runs in the eighth to even the score up once more. MacMurray did not go give in taking the lead for the third time in the game when Aaron Krummrich ripped an RBI double in the eight to make the score 8-7.
A lead off walk got the Panthers rally going in the top of the ninth, with a single and error loading the bases with no outs. An RBI single by Josh Wheeler tied the game up and a another run would come across on an errant throw. The Panthers tacked on another run with an RBI ground out to take a 10-8 lead into the final half inning. There Tyler Pilcher, who had come on in relief, would finish out the game for the win. Pilcher went 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out two. Four different Panthers picked up two hits in the game with Jesse Getz leading the way with three runs batted in.
On Saturday the two teams split a double header with MacMurray taking game one 8-1 as the Highlander pitchers limited the Panther offense to just six hits in the seven inning affair. MacMurray grabbed the lead in the second with one run and expanded their lead with four more runs in the fourth. Greenville plated its lone run of the game in the bottom of the fourth while MacMurray tacked on another three runs in the sixth. Every MacMurray starter picked up a hit in the game with four different players recording two hits. Trevor Knipe picked up the win for MacMurray, going five innings and allowing one run on five hits while striking out three.
With the series tied at one game each the two teams were set for the rubber match on Saturday night. Greenville took the early lead when Travis Ralls scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second. MacMurray, who had shown a resilience throughout the series, responded with two runs in the fourth inning. After a hit by Alec Quandt, Eric Phillis hit a one-out home run to give the Highlanders a 2-1 lead.
Greenville finished the series in the same fashion as they started, with a come from behind victory. Down 2-1 the Panthers plated four runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a Travis Ralls two run home run, to grab a 5-2 lead. The game would remain that way as Nick Bifano closed out the game, retiring three straight batters, for the save. Ryan Strohm picked up the win, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out nine.
Greenville is now 7-11 overall and 5-2 in conference play while MacMurray stands at 10-12 overall and 6-5 in the SLIAC.