Baseball Sweeps Limestone In Friday Doubleheader, 7-1 & 6-5

Baseball Sweeps Limestone In Friday Doubleheader, 7-1 & 6-5

The Belmont Abbey baseball team swept a doubleheader against the visiting Limestone Saints, as Harry Ferguson baffled the Saints for a 7-1 win in the opener, and Weston Clarke's bases loaded single with nobody out in the ninth gave the Crusaders a 6-5 victory. Belmont Abbey improves to 8-3 overall and remains perfect in Conference Carolinas with a 5-0 mark, while the Saints drop to 4-8 overall and 0-2 in Conference Carolinas.

The series finale will be Saturday at noon from Alumni Field.

In the seven inning opener, which was played at 19 degrees, the Crusaders drew first blood in the bottom of the second on Conor Kwalwasser's bases loaded walk that scored Levi Wright.

Three innings later, the Saints evened the game as they scored an unearned run with two outs. Alex Oleszkowicz reached on an error, which allowed Logan Conley to score from third with the tying run.

The contest was not tied for long, as the offense gave Ferguson a six run lead after plating five in the fifth, two on Kevin Elefante's single to right center and two more on a single by Kwalwasser. Josh Genthe, who raced to third on the play, scored on an ensuing throwing error to increase the lead to 6-1. Kwalwasser moved to third on the play, and he scored when Lorenzo Wright reached on an error for the final run of the game.

Ferguson, who worked out of a jam in the third when the Saints put the leadoff batter on second, was simply masterful as he ran his record to 4-0. He allowed three hits in five and two-thirds innings, yielding just an unearned run as he fanned two and walked one. His four wins eclipse the entire total of the Belmont Abbey pitching staff from the 2014 season.

Robert Taft pitched the final inning and a third, retiring all but one batter, which he hit with a pitch.

Saints starter Jameson McGrane fell to 0-3 in the loss as he gave up five runs on five hits in four and one-thirds innings, walking seven and striking out three.

The Crusaders finished with six hits as Kwalwasser led the way with two.

In the nightcap, Belmont Abbey overcame an early 3-0 deficit by scoring five unanswered runs. The Saints plated one in the third and added two more in the second before the Abbey matched it in the third on Clarke's two RBI single.

One inning later, Anthony Dimino increased his hitting streak to 11 games as his single to left, after fouling off seven pitches, chased home Kwalwasser from second to give the Abbey a 3-2 lead.

Belmont Abbey increased its lead in the fifth with two runs, as Clarke reached on an error and scored on Colin Rosenbaum's single to the gap in left center.

Kayden Krouse, who reached on an infield single and raced to third on Rosenbaum's single, later scored on Kwalwasser's sacrifice fly to left that widened the Abbey's lead to 5-2.

Limestone struck back with single runs in the sixth and seventh to knot the game at five, and the score remained there until the bottom of the ninth, after Wes Wood came in to relieve Brady Hill and worked out of a jam to keep the game tied.

In the bottom of the ninth, Dimino and Levi Wright worked back-to-back walks, with Dimino scampering to third on a wild pitch as Wright earned the base on balls. Nick Nunziato was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Clarke, who ended the game with a hard single to left, scoring Dimino easily with the winning run.

Wood earned his first collegiate victory as he retired all four batters he faced, one by strikeout. Jose Rondon fell to 1-1 as he gave up three runs, one earned, in the final four innings. He struck out four and walked three, two of those in the bottom of the ninth.

Clarke led the Crusaders with three hits and three RBI as the Abbey totaled 11 hits on the day. Dimino, Krause, Rosenbaum and Lorenzo Wright all had two hits.