WILSON, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey baseball team swept conference opponent Barton with an impressive offensive performance in both games of today's double header. The Crusaders scored 29 runs on the day registering 28 hits. Senior Nick Beinlich led the Crusaders with eight hits on the day, including four home runs, driving in 10 runs and scoring eight. The Crusaders improve to 14-11 on the season and 7-5 against Conference Carolinas opponents. Barton is now 14-10 this year, holding a 1-8 conference record.
In game one both teams put on an offensive display as The Abbey won 17-13. Nick Beinlich led off the game with a home run, which was a sign of things to come for the Crusaders and Beinlich. Barton tied in up in the bottom of the first and neither team managed a run in the second. The Crusaders broke it open in the third scoring four runs after Matt McGarry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Colin Rosenbaum followed with a walk and Kayden Krause drove in a run on a ground ball. The Crusaders executed a successful double steal to increase their lead to 5-1. The Abbey added two more runs in the fourth as Kenan Stanley produced a sacrifice fly and McGarry laced an RBI double into right-center.
Barton mounted a comeback scoring five runs in the fourth and six runs in the fifth. The Bulldogs notched 10 hits in the two innings to take a 12-8 lead. Kevin Elefante mashed a home run in the fifth for the Crusaders.
Belmont Abbey answered the 11 runs with nine of their own in the sixth inning to regain the lead. Beinlich blasted a two-run homer, his second of the game followed by Elefante's second home run of the game, a three run bomb. Josh Genthe joined the home run party sending a two run homer over the right field fence. Beinlich rounded out the inning with another round tripper, his second of the inning and third of the game.
Barton attempted a rally in the sixth but was not enough to overcome the Crusaders. The Abbey used six pitchers in the contest with Blake Waldren owning the start. Waldren went 4.0 inning allowing six runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Parker MacPhail was credited with the win, his second of the year and Sam Luchansky earned his first save of the season.
In game two the Crusaders continued the offensive show with 16 hits and 12 runs in the 12-6 win. Game two was shorted to seven innings due to darkness. The Abbey scored two runs in the first taking advantage of a throwing error and a Kayden Krause RBI single. The Crusaders plated another run in the third when Rosenbaum produced an RBI ground ball.
In the fourth Belmont Abbey recorded two more runs from Stanley's sac fly and Beinlich's RBI single. Beinlich tallied another RBI single in the six to give the Crusaders a 6-0 lead after six innings. In the seventh the Crusaders exploded for six more runs as they logged five hits. Nick Nunziato hit an RBI double to left field and Stanley laced an RBI single. Beinlich sent his 13th home run of the season, fourth of the day, over the left field fence to increase the Crusader's lead to 12-6.
Barton mounted a comeback in their half of the seventh cutting the lead in half as they scored six runs on three hits.
Abbey starter Jeff Thompson earned his second win of the year throwing 6.1 innings, allowing six runs on four hits, six walks and three strikeouts. Michael Gonzalez came on to record the final two outs.
The Abbey will travel to Catawba, Tuesday, to face the Indians at 5:00 p.m.