MOUNT OLIVE, NC - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders wrapped up the pre-tournament portion of their schedule, splitting a doubleheader with Mount Olive today.
In the opener, the Abbey (34-11-1, 20-6) squandered a late lead in the eighth, as the Trojans plated five runs in the frame to separate themselves from the Crusaders in the 8-4 win.
The Crusaders struck first in game one, as Thomas Yoder doubled home a pair of runs to give the Abbey a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Conor Kwalwasser would push Yoder across to give the Abbey a three run fourth.
Joe Koehler homered for the Trojans to trim the lead to 4-3. The long ball would make things interesting for the crowd at Scarborough Field, giving Mount Olive considerable momentum headed to the eighth.
In the eighth, three straight Trojan hitters would reach, with Duke Hill tying the game on a double from Zac Orrison.
The flurry would force a call to the bullpen, as Kyle Halbohn entered the fray, deadlocked at four.
After a hit by pitch to Brett Lang, Stephen Wallace singled, scoring Orrison, giving the Trojans the lead for good.
Tyler Byrnes would suffer the setback for the Abbey, as Jesse Schullstrom earned the win in relief for Mount Olive.
In game two, Blake Waldren would attempt to even the series for the Abbey, going opposite Austin Hutchinson.
The Crusaders jumped out front again, as Nick Beinlich homered to left to give the Abbey a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, Stephen Wallace homered to put the Trojans (25-18,16-10) on the board. Bradley Ragan scored David Mayo on a groundout to even things at 2-2.
The deadlock would go beyond the scheduled seven innings, as both clubs would be turned away on numerous occasions.
Kyle Halbohn would return in game two, tossing five innings of yeoman's relief. In game two, Halbohn struck out ten, allowing just one hit.
With a one run lead, the Crusaders would play a little role reversal, as the Abbey closer would hand the ball to the typical game three starter, Harry Ferguson.
Ferguson would set the Trojans aside in the twelfth, earning his first save of the season. The win for Halbohn is his third on the season.
The Crusaders will watch the scoreboard Monday, as the Crusaders tournament beginnings rest on the final Conference Carolinas game of the year.
Erskine has sealed the regular season flag and the #1 seed. A sweep by Erskine against NGU would mean a #2 seed for the Abbey, with the result being a 3pm start time on Thursday. If North Greenville wins the finale, the Crusaders will be the #3 seed and play at 11am.
Follow the road to Burlington on www.abbeyathletics.com.