Five Belmont Abbey players recorded at least two hits, and starting pitcher Robert Taft baffled Armstrong State for seven plus innings as the Crusaders baseball team recorded 15 hits in a key 13-4 region win over the visiting Armstrong State Pirates this afternoon at Abbey Yard. Belmont Abbey moves to 18-16, while the Pirates drop to 24-8.
Taft held the Pirates to three unearned runs in seven plus innings, scattering nine hits and striking out three as he moved his record to 2-1. The offense gave him all the support he needed as the Crusaders overcame an early 2-1 deficit by scoring nine runs in the third through fifth innings.
Five Crusaders-Lorenzo Wright, Kayden Krause, Anthony Dimino, Weston Clarke and Conor Kwalwasser-all had at least two hits with Wright and Nick Nunziato driving in four runs. Wright, Dimino and Kwalwasser each had three hits, with Krause and Clarke adding two each. Belmont Abbey finished with 15 on the day.
Belmont Abbey struck first in the first as Dimino singled home Krause. The Pirates surged ahead for two in the second to take their only lead of the game, as both runs were unearned.
The Crusaders offense then kicked into high gear, as the Abbey grabbed the lead for good in the third, as Nunziato drew a bases loaded walk, followed by Clarke's two RBI double to the gap in left center.
One inning later, the lead grew to 9-1 as the Abbey struck for five runs, three on Nunziato's tenth homer of the year, and two more on Wright's single to left.
The Pirates scored an unearned run in the fifth, but the Abbey pushed three across in the bottom of the frame, as Wright struck again, lacing a two RBI single to center, scoring Kwalwasser and Matt McGarry. Wright scored two batters later as Dimino brought him home with a single to right center.
In the eighth, Armen Calilao's double down the rightfield line scored Drew Sipp for the Abbey's final run. Armstrong scored its final run in the ninth on Will Austin's single to right, scoring Will Browning.