GAFFNEY, SC - The Belmont Abbey baseball program defeated Limstone College 13-12. The win moves the Crusaders to 22-4-1 overall and 13-0 in conference while the Saints fall to 11-17 overall and 2-8 in conference.
Tyler Byrnes was seeking his league leading sixth win of the year, and Belmont Abbey got the senior off to a great start. The Crusaders spotted the right hander a four run lead before he took the mound at Founders Federal Credit Union Stadium.
With Matt McGarry, returning to the lineup today after missing Tuesday's twinbill at Carson-Newman, and Colin Rosenbaum reaching on walks, Nick Nunziato tripled past the lunging effort of Chris Ford, scoring the middle infield to give the Abbey a 2-0 lead. Weston Clarke would score Nunziato on an infield single, followed by a Kayden Krause single that scored Clarke.
In the second, Nunziato would make it a 6-1 contest, as he doubled to left, scoring Conor Kwalwasser and McGarry.
The Crusaders would not score again until the seventh, but that didn't mean the game was without drama.
In the bottom of the sixth in a 6-2 game, Limestone would send eleven men to the plate,scoring seven times. The rally for the Saints was the largest number given up by the Crusaders all year. Austin Marcellus walked home Chris Stewart to tie the contest at six, forcing the bullpen to salvage the day. Ross Garrett would allow the three inherited runners to score on a Brett Duckett double.
The Crusaders, needing to respond once again in the latter innings, would get the necessary run support in the seventh.
Rosenbaum would double to left, but was unable to advance, as Anders DeShields would record back-to-back strikeouts. After Nick Beinlich walked, DeShields would coax Kayden Krause to pop up. However, a sun field on the left side of the infield would lead to a misplayed fly ball, scoring Rosenbaum and shifting momentum in the game.
Lorenzo Wright would make the error sting, crushing a three run homer over the three paneled wall in left to force the Crusaders back on top by a 10-9 score.
RBI hits from McGarry and Rosenbaum would cap the inning,as the Abbey scored seven times in the frame to take a 13-9 lead.
After a strike out to lead off the ninth inning, five consecutive Saints would reach, scoring twice to trim the lead to 13-11.
A sacrifice fly from Ian Hinson, scoring Chris Stewart, would make it a one run game with the tying run sitting at second.
Halbohn would finish the game, striking out Austin Marcellus looking to end the contest.
The 13-12 win was the 18th win in 19 outings, as Ross Garrett picked up the win in relief. The win for Garrett was his fifth of the year, tying him with Byrnes for the team and league lead.
The 14 hit attack was led by Nunziato and McGarry, each collecting three hits and a combined six RBI.