Crusaders Outlast Bears in Hickory, 8-6

Crusaders Outlast Bears in Hickory, 8-6
HICKORY, NC - The Belmont Abbey baseball team used a trio of home runs from Nick Nunziato and Weston Clarke to pick up a crucial road win over Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, 8-6. The win makes it 13 straight for the Abbey, as the Crusaders up their record to 17-3-1 on the year. The loss for LRU sends them to 15-5.

Nick Nunziato got the Crusaders rolling in the first as he drove a Hunter Martin pitch over the right center field wall to give the Abbey a three run advantage.

Starting pitcher Matt Davenport labored early,  allowing a pair of runs to score in the first on four walks and a misplayed grounder by Matt McGarry.  Davenport would settle in, eventually tossing five innings to earn the win.

With a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth, Nunziato would strike again as he homered for the seventh time on the season, hooking one around the left field foul pole to extend the lead to 5-3. Nunziato would finish with five RBI on the evening, giving 23 on the year.

Single runs in the fifth for the Bears would make it a two run. Each scored in the sixth, to make the score 6-4.

In the seventh, Nunziato led off with a walk, which set the stage for Weston Clarke, who mashed a two run shot well beyond the left field to give the Abbey an 8-4 lead.  The blast was Clarke's fourth hit of the evening, as he and Nunziato had multi hit nights.

 

In the eighth, the Bears made things inteesting, scoring twice on a Ross Garrett pitch to trim the lead to 8-6.

However, Kyle Halbohn would close the door on Lenoir-Rhyne with a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the year.

The 11 hit attack moved the club's collective batting average to .308 on the season. They will enter the weekend series with Pfeiffer averaging more than seven runs per contest.

On the night, Davenport was the only pitcher charged with an earned run, as the Crusaders bullpen pitched the final innings, striking out eight batters while allowing just three hits on two walks.

The Crusaders will return to Abbey Yard for a three game set against conference for Pfeiffer. First pitch time for Friday is slated for 6:00 PM, as Tyler Byrnes is to toe the slab for the Abbey. Airtime on BASN is scheduled for 5:45pm. Follow the feed on www.basn.wgnc.net.