ELON, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team fought into the bottom of the ninth against top-seeded Mount Olive, but were unable to come away with the tournament victory as the Trojans produced two runs in the final frame, including the walk-off walk, for a 5-4 victory.
The Crusaders took an early 3-0 lead as they jumped on Mount Olive's starter Bruce Zimmermann. Conference Player of the Year Nick Beinlich led the game off with a double into the corner in left and scored on Matt McGarry's infield single. McGarry came around to score on Rosenbaum's double in the left-field gap. Rosenbaum in turn scored on a ground ball by Kennan Stanley giving The Abbey the 3-0 advantage.
Troy Herterick started on the hill for the Crusaders allowing only one hit (two base-runners) through the first four innings. Mount Olive eventually got on the board in the fifth after back-to-back singles and a home run, by the tournament MVP Zach Mozingo. The three hits tied the game at three entering the sixth.
Cureton put The Abbey back on top with a long solo home run to center field in the sixth. That lead was threatened in the seventh when Mount Olive managed to get the first two batters on and reliever Cameron Busby found himself with runners on first and second and nobody out. Busby then enticed the next batter to pop his bunt attempt into the air before getting a double play ground ball to end the inning.
Belmont Abbey held the 4-3 advantage going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but Mount Olive was able to string a rally together resulting in the walk-off opportunity.
Busby, Krause, and Beinlich were named to the all-tournament team for their performance throughout the weekend.
With the win, Mount Olive secures the automatic qualifier into the Southeast Regional. Belmont Abbey will look to gain an at-large bid, with the regional selections being announced May 14.