BELMONT, N.C. -- Luke Cureton homered and had three doubles, and four Belmont Abbey pitchers allowed just one earned run over 14 innings, lifting the Crusaders to a doubleheader sweep of Lander in non-conference baseball action Sunday at Abbey Yard. The Abbey won the opener 8-3 before taking an 8-1 decision in the nightcap.
In the opener, Cameron Busby (7-3), the reigning NCBWA Southeast Region Player of the Week, tossed a complete-game four hitter, allowing just three unearned runs over seven innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, using just 72 pitches in the effort. Cureton drove in a pair of runs in the contest with 3-for-3 effort, all doubles, while Genthe had a pair of hits.
Belmont Abbey (35-17) struck for three runs in the first on Cureton's RBI double and an RBI single by Keenan Stanley. The Crusader pushed the lead to 4-0 in the second on Genthe's third home run of the season, before Lander gained a run back in the top of th third. Kevin Elefante and Matt McGarry delivered RBI singles as part of a three-run fourth that sent the margin to 7-1.
After the Bearcats tallied two in the fifth, another RBI double by Cureton in the sixth capped the scoring.
The Crusaders jumped out early in the second game with another three-run first. Genthe drew a one-out walk and later came home on a Nick Nunziato double that was misplayed in the outfield. Cureton homered with two outs to make it a 3-0 advantage.
The score stayed that way until the fourth, when Belmont Abbey added four more runs. A pair of wild pitches brought home the first two runs, followed by an RBI single by Beinlich and a run-scoring double by Colin Rosenbaum.
The final run came home in the sixth after a hit batter, walk and two more wild pitches. Blake Waldren (7-2) earned the win, scattering three hits over five innings. He struck out six, while walking three. Brady Hill and Robert Frantzis each threw an inning to complete the effort.
Belmont Abbey continues to await a possible bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional next Sunday. The Crusaders were ranked seventh in this week's regional poll.