The Belmont Abbey baseball team split its doubleheader at Pfeiffer this afternoon, dropping the opener 8-4 and rallying for a 10-3 win in the seven ininng nightcap. The rubber game of the series will be Monday at 2:30 as the Crusaders are now 20-19 overall and 13-10 in Conference Carolinas, while the Falcons move to 24-17 overall and 15-8.
In the opener, Anthony Dimino's run scoring single in the first gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead, but the Falcons moved ahead with five unanswered runs, starting with two in the first and one in the second to take a lead they wouldn't lose again. Pfeiffer added two more in the seventh to extend its lead to 5-1, but the Crusaders battled back in the eighth, scoring twice on Weston Clarke's two run shot to dead center to close the Falcons lead to 5-3.
Pfeiffer responded with three of its own in the bottom of the inning, getting an RBI single from Anthony Allende and a two RBI single from Cole McGraw.
Down to its final three outs, the Abbey mounted a rally in the ninth as Kevin Elefante led off with a pinch hit double and was replaced by Tommy Hunn. Hunn moved to third on a single to left by Conor Kwalwasser. After a popout, Kayden Krause was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out. Dimino brought home Hunn with a groundout to second to close the lead to 8-4, but a groundout on the next at bat ended the game.
Ethan Greene moved his record to 7-4 in the win as the Falcons starter allowed one run on four hits in six innings, striking out six. Harry Ferguson fell to 4-7 as he allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings, striking out six.
Belmont Abbey finished with nine hits and no errors in the field. Dimino collected three hits in five at bats with two RBI.
In game two, which was seven innings, the Crusaders touched Pfeiffer starter Tyler Leguire for ten runs, five earned, on six hits in three innings as the Abbey stormed ahead 5-0 in the first.
All five first inning runs were unearned as Lorenzo Wright scored the game's first run on a Falcons error of the bat of Dimino. Elefante followed with a single to center that chased home Krause. Matt McGarry kept the rally going with a two RBI single to right, scoring Clarke and Dimino, and Levi Wright drove in the fifth run when he reached on an infield single short, scoring Elefante.
After Pfeiffer scored two in the second to cut the deficit to 5-2, the Crusaders scored five runs in the third, both courtesy of the Wright brothers. Levi Wright clubbed a two RBI double to the gap in right center, scoring Elefante and Clarke. Two batters later, Lorenzo Wright clouted a three run homer to left center, scoring Kwalwasser and Levi Wright ahead of him to give the Crusaders a 10-2 lead.
That was all of the scoring until the bottom of the seventh when the Falcons tacked on one for the final run of the game.
Ryan Allen earned the win as he held Pfeiffer to two runs on eight hits, striking out ten, in six innings of work. He moves to 3-2 on the year. Leguire fell to 5-4 in the defeat.
Belmont Abbey was flawless in the field, as it was charged with no errors. The offense collected seven hits, led by Levi Wright's two.