The Belmont Abbey baseball recorded 15 runs on 14 hits as the Crusaders stormed ahead 9-1 after three innings and held off a late Lander charge to post a 15-9 victory in a game that lasted three hours and 41 minutes this evening in Greenwood, South Carolina. Belmont Abbey moves to 19-18, while the Bearcats, coached by former Belmont Abbey skipper Kermit Smith, falls to 20-21.
Belmont Abbey never trailed as it scored six times in the first to set the early lead. Anthony Dimino clubbed a two RBI single, followed by RBI singles from Matt McGarry and Colin Rosenbaum. The final two runs scored on the first of seven Lander errors, this one allowing Rosenbaum and Levi Wright to scamper home for a 6-0 lead.
After Lander got on the board in the second, Belmont Abbey plated three more in the third on one swing of the bat: Kayden Krause's three run opposite field shot to right.
The homestanding Bearcats cut into the Abbey's lead with one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to cut the deficit to 9-4, but the Crusaders plated four in the sixth, three on Levi Wright's homer to left and the other on Nick Nunziato's single to left. Wright's homer increased the Abbey's lead to 13-4.
In the bottom of the inning, Lander scored five runs to cut the lead to 13-9, but the Crusaders closed the scoring in the seventh with two runs. Dimino reached on an error that allowed Lorenzo Wright score. Krause later scored on Nunziato's groundout to shortstop.
Belmont Abbey starter Robert Taft upped his record to 3-1 as he pitched the first five innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits. He struck out two. Lander starter Taylor Alvarez, the first of eight Bearcat pitchers, fell to 0-2 as he lasted just one third of an inning. He gave up two runs on one hit.
The Crusaders finished with 14 hits as Lorenzo Wright and Dimino both recorded three. Krause, Dimino and Levi Wright each drove in three runs.