The Belmont Abbey baseball team opened a five game homestand with 9-5 loss to Wingate this afternoon at Abbey Yard. The Crusaders fall to 4-7 as Wingate improves to 7-2.
Wingate jumped out to an early lead in the first inning as leadoff man Shane Billings tripled then scored on Eric Serra's Sacrifice fly. But the Crusaders answered immediately with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame as both Anthony Dimino and Weston Clarke scored on passed balls.
In the third inning both teams again plated runs as Serra tripled the Thomas Spitz brought him in with a sacrifice fly. The Crusaders followed suit as Michael Falsetti scored Dimino with a sacrifice fly after Dimino's double to center. Wingate struck in the top of the fourth as Clark hit Wingate's third triple of the day and later scored on Tyler Simmons's ground out.
The Abbey took the lead in the fifth inning when Connor Kwalwasser reached base on a throwing error, moved to secod on a sacrifice from Wright and scored on Dimino's single into centerfield.
Wingate broke it open in the seventh as it scored three runs on three hits, the big blow coming on a single to left that put Wingate in the lead for good. The Bulldogs tacked on another run with a single to center. Wingate added three insurance runs in the ninth as they executed back to back hits with runners on first and second.
The Crusaders tried to muster one last rally in the ninth. After two strikeouts, Kwalwasser was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on Wright's single. After Wright stole second, Dimino singled to center that plated Kwalwasser. But the tying run could not reach the batter's box as the rally ended with a strikeout.
Abbey's starter Tyler Byrnes took the loss after working six and two thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out two. Brett Morgan earned the win in relief, as he gave up one hit in one and a third scoreless innings, walking two and striking out one. Brandon Donahue tossed the final two and two thirds innings, allowing a run on two hits and fanning six, to earn the save.
The Crusaders are off the remainder of the week preparing for a four game series against Shippensburg. That series will consist of a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday, all games will be seven innings.