The Belmont Abbey baseball team scored five runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 2-1 deficit and defeat Erskine 6-2 to remain alive in the Conference Carolinas Touranment, but Pfeiffer won the ensuing elimination game 5-4 to end the Crusaders Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship hopes.
Belmont Abbey is now 25-22 and will close the season with a three game series at Armstrong State starting Friday at 3:00.
The Crusaders finished the Conference Carolinas Tournament with a 2-2 record, eliminating the top two seeds in the process.
In the opener, Erskine led 2-1 after six and a half innings before the Crusaders stormed ahead 6-2 with five runs in the seventh to stun the Flying Fleet.
Conor Kwalwasser brought the game to a 2-2 tie when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Armen Calilao. The next run came in on the following at bat, as an Erskine error allowed Matt McGarry to score from third for the first Abbey lead of the game at 3-2.
Kayden Krause and Anthony Dimino closed the rally with back-to-back RBI singles, as Krause delivered a two RBI single that scored Kwalwasser and Levi Wright. Dimino punctuated the rally with an opposite field single to left, scoring Lorenzo Wright for a 6-2 Crusaders lead.
Brandon O'Sullivan, in relief of starter Tyler Byrnes, moved his record to 2-0 as he held Erskine to two hits over the final three scoreless innings, striking out one and walking one. Byrnes pitched the first six innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits as he fanned two.
Erskine starter Austin Gambrell fell to 5-2 in the defeat as he gave up six runs, only three earned, on six hits in six innings. He struck out seven. He was undone by three errors behind him.
Belmont Abbey finished with eight hits as Krause, Dimino and Levi Wright all finished with two.
In the nightcap, Pfeiffer scored the first five runs of the game and held off a late Abbey rally to hang on for a 5-4 win and advance to the championship round.
The Crusaders, as the home team, received a huge break in the ninth as the Falcons dropped a routine fly ball off the bat of Krause with two outs. Krause reached second on the play, but Dimino's liner to the gap in left center was snared just in time as Pfeiffer held on for the one run victory.
After the Falcons scored one in the first and four more in the fifth, Belmont Abbey began its comeback in the sixth, scoring one run on Kevin Elefante's single to left center that scored Dimino, who reached on a one out infield single.
One inning later the Crusaders cut the lead to one with three runs, capped off by a two RBI single from Dimino, which came after Krause's single to right that scored Kwalwasser.
Belmont Abbey finished with eight hits but left eight runners on base. Dimino finished with three hits in five at bats while driving in two runs. Five others had one hit each.
Pfeiffer starter Ethan Greene pitched six and one-thirds innings, allowing two runs on six hits to earn the victory and move his record to 8-3. He fanned six and walked one. Zach Huneycutt picked up his first save as he struck out two in the final two and one-thirds innings. He did not give up a hit, retiring all but one batter he faced.
Ryan Allen, the Crusaders starter, fell to 3-3 as he allowed five runs on five hits in five innings, striking out four.