BELMONT, NC - Belmont Abbey defeated visiting Newberry College 6-2 before the final game of the series ended in a 1-1 tie Saturday afternoon in collegiate baseball action. The Crusaders even their record at 1-1-1 on the new season while Newberry drops to 4-1-1.
The Wolves took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the second inning of the opener on a solo homerun by junior Daymon Totherow. The Abbey answered with a three-run effort in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a one-run homer by junior Kevin Elefante and a RBI single from senior Conor Kwalwasser.
Newberry cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third but that was as close as they would come against the Crusader pitching staff. Junior Nick Nunziato hit a two-RBI double in the fourth inning followed by a sacrifice fly from sophomore Colin Rosenbaum in the fifth to complete the scoring at 6-2 for the game.
Junior Ross Garrett earned the win with an inning and two thirds pitched in relief. He led a solid effort by four Crusader pitchers who combined to strikeout seven batters while allowing only two extra-base hits. Sophomore Hunter Hill took the loss for the Wolves, pitching three and two-thirds innings with nine hits and five earned runs allowed.
The final game of the three-game series ended in a tie due to darkness and was dominated by the pitching staffs. Newberry's run was scored in the third inning when sophomore Jacob Bass led off with a single and stole second base. He advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Totherow.
The Wolves junior starter, Zack Kelly, was dominant over six innings of work. Kelly held the Crusaders scoreless with only three hits allowed and struck out nine batters. After a 101 pitch effort he left the game and Belmont Abbey was able to manufacture an unearned run in the eighth inning.
Junior Kayden Krause led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a throwing error in classmate Nick Beinlich's following at bat. Beinlich hit a ground ball to the shortstop who tried to get the speedy Krause at third base. The throw was off the mark however, and Krause ran home to tie the score at 1-1. Beinlich reached third with one out but the Abbey was unable to get the winning run across.
Sophomore Blake Waldren started on the mound for the Crusaders and turned in solid effort in his first outing of the season. Waldren pitched five and two-thirds innings with only three hits and an earned run allowed while striking out four. Belmont Abbey head coach Chris Anderson turned to four relievers to blank the Wolves over the final three and a third innings to preserve the tie.
Bass led Newberry with three hits, one RBI and a run scored in the two games while Kwalwasser collected four hits, one RBI and a run scored for the Abbey. Nunziato led all batters with three RBI on the afternoon.
The Crusaders now travel to Wingate on Wednesday for a 3:00 PM start against the Bulldogs. Belmont Abbey then returns home on Friday with a double-header against Slippery Rock beginning at 1:00 PM.