Mar 05, 2016
BRISTOL, TN - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders swept a twinbill today against the King Tornado by scores of 8-6 and 13-5. The pair of wins today extends the Crusaders Conference Carolinas win streak to nine games, giving the Abbey sole possession of first place. Overall, the Crusaders move their record to 16-3-1, winners of 12 straight.
In the opener, Blake Waldren pitched six innings and the Crusaders offense came through with timely hitting to capture the series win.
The Abbey would score a single run in the first inning, followed by a pair in the third to jump out to a 3-0 lead.
King would respond with a three run third that began with a Joe Ganger walk, one of three walks on the day for Waldren. After a stolen base by Ganger, Josh Stephens would reach on a Matt McGarry misplay of a ground ball, scoring Ganger to put King on the board. After a Mark Hencken single, Ryan Whitt would trim the lead to one as he drove home Stephens with a single. Two batters later, Austin Dayton would plate Hencken to know things at three with a RBI groundout.
From there, Waldren would allow only one more run, giving the Abbey to clinch the series. On the day, he would punchouts eight King batters while scattering five hits.
The Crusaders would retake the lead in the following at bat, as three Crusaders would scored in the frame, led by a two run single from Colin Rosenbaum with one down to stretch the lead to 6-3. Rosenbaum would tack on another RBI in the sixth, part of a two run rally in the sixth to pad the lead at 8-4.
Kyle Halbohn would come onto to close the deal for the Abbey, though it wasn't without a touch of drama.
A one out single by Ryan Sattz would bring up Austin Dayton, who drove the pitch off the left field foul pole to tighten things at 8-6. However, consecutive groundout would end the game and set up the third consecutive opportunity to sweep a conference opponent.
Rosenbaum would collect three RBI on the day to go with two hits, a run scored and a stolen bag.
In game one of the twinbill, the Abbey would pilfer eight bases to run their total to 38 steals on the year.
In game two, the Crusaders would put up a baker's dozen while Robert Taft would neutralize the King offense to sweep the Tornado by a 13-5 total.
Ryan Whitt stroked a two run homer to stake Grant Boyd to an early lead. The longball for King was one of two homers for King in the finale.
The Crusaders would bounce right back in the second, as Lorenzo Wright would drive in Nick
Beinlich on a RBI single, then score on an error to even things at two.
The Crusaders would add a three spot in the third, as Wright would single home Beinlich. Elefante would then hook a ball into the right field corner to score Kayden Krause and Wright to give the Abbey a 5-3 lead.
After both clubs exchanged runs, King would make it a one run game, as Braden Cook and Josh Stephens would each drive a run home in the fourth to chase Harry Ferguson from the contest.
Robert Taft would enter the fray in the fifth and would be magnificent. Taft would sprinkle five hits across as many frames, striking out three and allowing nobody to score the rest of the way.
In the sixth inning, an incoming rain front moved into East Tennessee, bringing rainy conditions to the King Complex, along with gusts topping 20 miles per hour.
The less than ideal conditions served no deterrant to the Abbey, as the Crusaders scored seven unanswered runs to come away with the final margin on Saturday afternoon.
In the sixth, Rosenbaum, Beinlich and Krause would drive in single runs to take the Abbey lead to 9-5. A four spot in the ninth would allow Taft the chance to send the road club home happy with the 13-8 verdict.
On the day, Rosenbaum would end with five hits and six runs batted in. That gives the shortstop 22 RBI on the year, tops on the club.
On the day, the Crusaders banged out 24 hits, raising their team batting average up by six points to .301 on the season.
Tuesday, the Abbey will look to make it a Baker's Dozen against Lenoir-Rhyne from Hickory. Firstpitchtime is 4pm, with Crusaders action on BASN beginning at 3:45pm. Log onto: www.basn.wgnc.net to catch the broadcast.