Submitted by North Central College
Supporting another strong pitching performance with an early offensive onslaught, the North Central College baseball team claimed its second win over North Carolina Wesleyan College in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday, defeating the Battling Bishops, 4-1, at Bauer Field.
The Cardinals improved to 6-3 in the young season and will have a day off before returning to play on Tuesday against Methodist University (N.C.)
North Central scored twice in the first inning, as Kevin Hennessy's double to left-center field drove home Zac Pacanowski and Joe Paparone, who had reached via a single and a walk, respectively. The Battling Bishops (13-15) turned a leadoff single into their lone run of the contest in the second inning, though the Cardinals'Tom Ross led off the third with a base hit and scored on a one-out single by Paparone.
The Cardinals manufactured the final run of the day in the fourth inning. Charlie Hern drew a leadoff walk, Luke Waldier came through with a bunt single and Sam Klein turned in a sacrifice bunt to bring up Alex Khoury, who laid down North Central's third straight bunt to bring Hern home on the squeeze play.
WIth a three-run advantage, the Cardinals left the task of salting the game away to pitcher Ben Krusen, who pitched all nine innings and allowed just three hits, all of which were singles. After giving up a leadoff single in the third, Krusen did not allow another hit until two outs had been recorded in the ninth. He struck out four and walked three as he improved to 2-0 on the season.
Hennessy went 3 for 4 at the plate, stroking three doubles, while Ross was 2 for 5.
North Central travels to Fayetteville, N.C. on Tuesday to take on Methodist. The first pitch at Armstrong Field is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern time.