March 16, 2012
Baseball Takes Opener From Limestone, 10-5
Gabby Amor Finished 4-5 With 3 RBI
The Belmont Abbey baseball team broke a 4-4 tie with five runs in the top of the sixth, and Matt Parish and Taylor West held Limestone to just one run on three hits in the final four and two-thirds innings as the Crusaders took game one of a three-game set with a 10-5 win this afternoon. The Abbey, winners of three-straight, move to 19-9 overall and 9-4 in Conference Carolinas, while Limestone drops to 8-17 overall and 1-9 in Conference Carolinas. The series will wrap up Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.
Limestone tagged Abbey starter Nate Cudney with single runs in the first and third to build an early 2-0 lead, but the Abbey stormed ahead with four runs in the top of the fifth. Caleb Shore led off with an infield single and raced all the way to third when John Cucchiarella's bunt was thrown wide of the bag at first, allowing him to move to second. The Crusaders then pieced together three-straight RBI singles from Ian Vazquez, Gabby Amor and Emilio Pagan to move into the lead for the first time at 3-0. After a walk to Joey Frabasile, Stephen Mullis grounded into a double play, but it allowed Pagan to score from third to widen the gap to 4-2.
The Saints battled back to tie the game at four with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Crusaders jumped right back ahead in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs on five hits to seize command of the game.
Kyle Buchanan led off with a walk, moved to second on a single by Shore and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Cucchiarella. After a lineout, Amor ripped a single down the leftfield line to plate Shore and move Cucchiarella to second. Amor stole second, followed by a walk to Pagan to load the bases for Frabasile, who singled to right that brought home Cucchiarella for the third run of the inning to increase the lead to 7-4. Mullis kept the rally going with a run-scoring single to bring Amor home. A pitching change and popout followed, and Buchanan, the tenth man to hit in the inning, was hit by a pitch for an NCAA Division II leading 16th time to force home Pagan and move the lead to 9-4.
The Abbey tacked on one more in the seventh as Amor tripled home Vazquez, who singled earlier. Limestone closed the scoring in the eighth with an RBI single, but Parish and West silenced the bats for the last four innings as the Abbey took the win.
Amor totaled four of the Abbey's 14 hits, as he collected four hits in five at bats with three RBI and two runs scored. Vazquez, Mullis and Shore all had two hits.
Parish improved his record to 4-1 with the victory, as he allowed one run on three hits in two and two-thirds innings, striking out three. West worked the final inning and two-thirds, retiring every batter he faced, fanning two. Cameron Ward took the loss after yielding five runs on five hits in one-third of an inning.Related Item: Box Score