Mar 04, 2016
BRISTOL, TN - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders defeated the King Tornado on Friday by a 7-4 final. The win moves the Crusaders to 14-3-1, winners of 10 straight and 11 of 12.
Tyler Byrnes took the mound looking for his fourth consecutive win in as many decisions. Opposite of Byrnes for King was Mark Hendricks, seeking his first win of 2016.
King would strike first in the second, as Joe Ganger would pull a single through the left side to score Tyler Bailey. The run would be the only blemish for Byrnes, as he tossed eight innings, allowing the single run on nine hits.
The Crusaders were unable to muster any offense against Hendricks, as the right hander was able to hold off the Abbey through five innings.
The sixth would become the breakthrough inning, as Nick Nunziato served a single to right, followed by a sizzling double to right by Weston Clarke that sliced toward the corner, advancing Nunziato to third. Nick Beinlich would be the difference for the Abbey, singling home Nunziato and Clarke. The 2-1 margin would stand, as Byrnes would pitch a perfect frame.
In the seventh, the Crusaders got some needed insurance, as Nunziato would drill a three run shot, his fifth of 2016, to give the Abbey a 5-1 lead. The Crusaders would continue the offensive momentum, plating two runs in the eighth, as Conor Kwalwasser doubled home Lorenzo Wright and Thomas Yoder to stretch the lead to 7-1.
Byrnes would work out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth to complete the quality start.
Trailing by six, the King Tornado would mount a rally in the ninth, scoring runs on the first three batters reached. Following a single, walk and a double in successive fashion, warranting a call to the bullpen. Brady Hill would give the ball to Ross Garrett, and Garrett would put out the fire. Following a single and a hit batter, Garrett would strike out two of the final three batters faced, securing the win for the Abbey.
The Crusaders banged out 13 hits, as each and every starter reached safely in the win. Nunziato, Beinlich, Wright and Colin Rosenbaum would have multi hit games to pace the offense.
Tomorrow, Blake Waldren is scheduled to start against King in the seven inning opener of the conference doubleheader. First pitch time 12:00 PM and 3:00PM.