ECS v Maran

Emmanuel's Chris Atkinson goes down low to meet this pitch as the Emmanuel Crusaders defeated the Maranatha Bulldogs 5-3 Tuesday afternoon.

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Emmanuel Christian Crusaders erased an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Maranatha Christian (Florence) Bulldogs 5-3 in South Carolina Association of Christian Schools’ action Tuesday night.

Ben Foster had an RBI double and later scored on a passed ball in the third inning as the Crusaders took a 4-3 lead.

Emmanuel’s starting pitcher Chris Atkinson pitched three innings of near perfect ball and quietly tallied nine strike outs in four innings of work. Atkinson was in his first start since returning to the lineup after an injury.

Foster came on in relief in the fifth inning and turned a seventh inning scare into a save opportunity for the Crusaders.

“We had a pretty strong closing as far as pitching and we made very little errors today,” said first year head coach Austin Royal. “A little bit of catching the fly balls or routine stuff we need to get back up on for later this week.”

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the second inning via two fielding errors, a walk and a single. They had runners on second and third and the winning run at the plate twice, but could not convert the runners.

Emmanuel scored two runs in their half of the second inning when Foster walked to lead off the inning. He stole second and third base before scoring on a Bulldog fielding error.

Riley Hendrix walked, stole second and scored on the same fielding error as Foster.

The Crusaders only had two official hits on the night, but took full advantage of three Bulldog errors.

The Crusaders host South Pointe Friday at 5 p.m. in Hartsville.