The Belmont Abbey baseball team wrapped up its three game series against Barton with a 5-3 loss to the Bulldogs this afternoon at Abbey Yard. Barton completes the three game sweep as it improves to 11-21 overall and 6-6 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey drops to 13-22 overall and 4-11 in league play.
This was the Abbey's final home conference series of the year as the Crusaders travel to North Greenville and Mount Olive to complete conference play.
The Crusaders host Armstrong Atlantic State Tuesday at 2:30.
Belmont Abbey jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first as Anthony Dimino reached on a two out, sun-aided double, as his towering fly ball to left was lost in the sun, dropping in for the first of his two doubles on the afternoon.
One pitch later, Weston Clarke smoked a single to the gap in left center, scoring Dimino to put the Crusaders ahead 1-0.
Two innings later, Barton seized the lead for good as it plated two runs, using an RBI single from Avery Harper while the other came in on an Abbey error, allowing Snooter Merryman to score from second and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
Barton scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to stretch its lead to 4-1, but the Crusaders cut it in half in the sixth on Levi Wright's solo homer to left, his fourth of the year.
The Bulldogs matched the Abbey's run in the eighth as catcher Jacob Willis scored on a wild pitch to increase their lead to 5-2.
Down to its final three outs, the Crusaders brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but a flyout ended the game.
Barton starting pitcher Ricky Jernigan allowed two runs on nine hits, striking out one to earn the win. He worked the first six innings. Merryman, who played the first eight innings at first base, pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save. Crusaders starter Aaron Rumburg allowed four runs, three earned, in seven innings as he was saddled with the loss. He fanned six.
Belmont Abbey totaled 11 hits as Dimino, Wright, Pilla and Quinn Hawksworth all had two. Clarke, Wright and Pilla each drove in a run.