The Belmont Abbey baseball team used a strong effort from starting pitcher Cody Stull in game one, and a two RBI double from Michael Falsetti in the eighth inning of game two gave the Crusaders a Saturday sweep of the visiting Saint Anselm Hawks this afternoon in a doubleheader at Abbey Yard. The Crusaders rode Stull's nine strikeout effort over seven innings to a 3-1 win in the opener, and the offense found the bats late for an 8-6 win in the nightcap.
The two wins moves the Abbey's record to 3-3, while the Hawks drop to 0-2. The Abbey will go for the sweep Sunday, with first pitch starting at 1:00.
In game one, the Crusaders struck for a pair in the bottom of the first to grab a lead it would not lose. Lorenzo Wright worked a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single to right by Ian Vazquez. After a double steal, Anthony Dimino cracked an opposite field single to left center, scoring both men easily for a 2-0 Abbey lead.
Stull faced the minimum through three innings before the Hawks touched him for a run in the fourth as he gave up an RBI single to Mike Hayden, scoring designated hitter Ken Morrisino, who worked a one out walk.
Hayden's single closed the Abbey's lead to one, but the Crusaders got it right back in the sixth, as Wright came home on a wild pitch after he led off the inning with a double.
That run was the final one of the game, as two pitching staffs took over from there.
Aaron Rumburg came on for Stull to begin the eighth and he allowed just one hit over the final two innings-retiring the side in order in the ninth-to record his first career save.
Stull worked seven innings, fanning nine and walking one. He scattered four hits.
Zach Bryan took the loss. The starting pitcher was nearly as effective as Stull, as he fanned seven in five and two-thirds innings, yielding three runs on four hits.
Belmont Abbey totaled just four hits in the game, all from four different players.
In the nightcap, the Hawks built a 2-0 lead after three and a half before the Crusaders exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fourth, using a bases clearing double from Wright and an RBI single from Jon Pilla.
A homer by Dimino in the fifth extended the Abbey's lead to 5-2 and the score stayed that way until the top of the eighth when Saint Anselm scored four runs on five hits. The Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out and they scored two runs on a double by Bobby Carkhuff, another on a single from Dan Lagasse and one on a fielder's choice grounder to third when Tom Murphy raced home from third on a grounder, beating the throw by inches.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Crusaders surged ahead for good. Kennan Stanley led off with a walk and stole second. He raced to third on a errant pickoff attempt. Two batters later, after a hit batsman and a walk that loaded the bases, Ian Vazquez walked to bring home Stanley to tie the game at six.
Falsetti followed with a ringing double down the leftfield line, scoring Wright and Conor Kwalwasser.
Forrest Buchanan, who entered the game in the midst of the Saint Anselm rally, retired the side in order in the ninth to seal the win.