The Belmont Abbey Crusaders wrapped up a five game homestand by powering past the Brevard Tornados 12-6. The win sends the Crusaders to a 5-3-1 record, as Brevard now moves to 4-4, after beginning the season on a four game winning streak.
Crusaders starting pitcher Jeff Thompson had early difficulty in this contest, laboring through a first inning that would ultimately spot the Tornados an early run. The Crusaders would make quick work of dissolving the lead, as Josh Genthe sent a deep drive over the right field fence for his first homer of 2016. The two run shot was preceded by Matt McGarry, who reached on an infield single to begin the Abbey first.
After Brevard tied things at two, the Abbey would disappear from Brevard, sending 14 men to the plate while scoring nine runs in the second. In the frame, the Crusaders were helped by three extra base hits, with the big blow coming from Lorenzo Wright early in the inning. Conor Kwalwasser and Josh Genthe would extend the lead with RBI doubles, effectively ending the day for Brevard starter Michael Merryman. The nine run outburst, a new high on the season, would be more than enough support for the Crusaders pitching staff.
Weston Clarke would add an exclamation point, as he hammered his first homer deep beyond the left field wall to give the Abbey it's final run of the contest. The homer was Clarke's second hit of the day, as he finished with two runs scored and two driven in.
Thompson would settle into his start after receiving the crooked number in the second, and went into the fifth needing just three outs to earn his first win of the season. After retiring the first two batters with a strikeout and a flyout, Thompson would be unable to earn the win. The next four Brevard batters would reach, trimming the lead to 12-3. Head Coach Chris Anderson would go to his bullpen, calling on Ross Garrett to end the threat.
Garrett would do just that, striking out Brayden Morris to retire the side. Garrrett would take the win in relief, going 1.2 innings, to move his mark to 3-0.
On the day, three Abbey starters would have a multi-hit game. Genthe would join Clarke and Kwalwasser in the ten hit attack, each finishing with a pair of hits. Kwalwasser would also join Genthe with three RBI in the winning cause.
The Crusaders will travel to Francis Marion on Wednesday, before returning home Friday to take on Emmanuel in the open of conference play. The 2:30pm start will be broadcast on www.basn.wgnc.net, with Crusaders Pregame starting at 2:15pm.