Tarboro native and Barton College Bulldogs freshman second baseman Spiers Miller came through at the right time for the Bulldogs Saturday in Wilson. Miller hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning in the second game of a double-header against North Greenville University. The homer completed a late rally that helped Barton split the double-header with North Greenville. The Bulldogs fell in the first game 3-1 and won the second game 9-3.
In the first game another Tarboro native, Kyle Norville (2-8) started on the mound for the Bulldogs in the first game and took the loss. Norville threw his fifth complete game of the season for the Bulldogs. He scattered eight hits and walked three. He also struck out four. Norville gave up a two-run homer to junior Adam Taylor in the seventh inning to break the 1-1 tie to give North Greenville a 3-1 lead.
Senior Derek Fulmer provided NGU with its first lead with an RBI-double to deep left field in the top of the fourth. Fulmer entered the month of April ranked third nationally in hits and increased his total to 63 base hits with three hits on the day.
Junior left fielder Clay Martin evened the score with a solo shot to right field in the home half of the fourth. Martin's equalizer was his first collegiate home run.
Doubles by Miller in the fifth and junior Tyler Barrington in the seventh gave Barton a couple of chances late to score more but the Bulldogs were unable to come up with the timely hits.
Taylor paced the Crusaders going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Chris Rawlings supplied two of the Bulldogs six hits with a pair of singles.
In the second game of the day the Bulldogs defeated North Greenville 9-3 Miller hit a three-run bomb in the eighth inning to give the Bulldogs the boost they needed. The homer came after Tyler Barrington tied the game up with an infield single as Barton rallied from a three run deficit. They scored six runs in the final two innings to avoid a series sweep.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Rawlings drove in the first run with a double; junior Phillip Williams plated Rawlings with a single; and senior Ryan Daughtry knocked in the final run with a fielder's choice RBI.
North Greenville leveled play with three runs in the third that was aided by a Barton error that led to one unearned run. The Crusaders then took the lead on a single by Taylor in the fourth. Senior Dylan Fulk tacked on the visitors final two runs with a round-tripper in the sixth.
Sophomore Collins Cuthrell's team leading seventh home run of the season, a two-run rocket over the left-center field fence, pulled the Bulldogs to within one in the bottom of the seventh.
Barton completed the comeback with four runs in the eighth. Daughtry started the rally with a leadoff triple off the fence in left field. Barrington eventually knocked in the tying run with a single that was fielded by the second baseman but then beat the pitcher in a race to first base. Miller then followed with his first home run in a Royal Blue and White uniform.
Williams tossed the first five innings before freshman Brandon Warren hurled the final four frames. Warren (3-2) gave up the two-run jack by Fulk in the sixth before setting down to retire his final 11 batters in order. Warren recorded four strikeouts and did not surrender a base on balls.
Barton outhit North Greenville 11-8 with Miller pacing the Bulldogs going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Cuthrell followed with two base knocks.
Fulk and Taylor accounted for half of the Crusader hits with two each.