The Belmont Abbey baseball team opened the 2014 season with a pair of losses at Lander this afternoon, as the Crusaders dropped the opener 6-1 and fell in the nightcap by a 10-1 score.
The Bearcats are 2-0 while the Crusaders are 0-2 under first-year head coach Chris Anderson, who was Lander head coach Kermit Smith's assistant five years at Belmont-Abbey (2005-09) and four years with the Bearcats (2010-13).
The teams will finish their three-game series Sunday afternoon at Belmont Abbey with first pitch at 1:30 from Abbey Yard. Before the game, Belmont Abbey will retire the number of Alex Castellanos, who played in Belmont from 2007-08 and reached the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In game one, Lander scored three runs in the bottom of the first and tacked on two more in the fourth.
Lander threatened to add to its lead in the sixth when Colby Painter was hit by a pitch and Thomas Bess crushed a ball to deep left, but Crusaders left fielder Lorenzo Wright made a spectacular catch, robbing Bess of a possible two-run home run.
Belmont Abbey ended the shutout bid in the seventh when Nick Beinlich hit a two-out single off Bearcats reliever JD Waite, stole second (becoming the first Crusaders runner to reach second) and scored on Weston Clarke's single to center.
Dylan Wolchik (1-0) allowed just one hit and one walk in six shutout innings. He struck out eight.
Crusaders starter Cody Stull (0-1) allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings. He struck out seven with no walks. Tyler Byrnes worked the final three innings, allowing no runs on one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.
In game two, Lander built a 4-0 lead after two innings and ended the scoring with two more in the fourth and four more in the fifth.
Taylor Alvarez (1-0), like Wolchik, pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits while striking out five and walking one in his Bearcats debut.
Crusaders starter Parks Smithey (0-1) allowed eight runs on nine hits in four innings, striking out three and walking two. Reliever Brandon O'Sullivan allowed two runs in one-third of an inning. Forrest Buchanan, Kyle Rogers and Dakota Irwin finished up the game.