BURLINGTON, NC - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders were eliminated from the Conference Carolinas Baseball Championships on Sunday, falling 8-6 to the Mount Olive Trojans in Burlington.
Playing for the fourth time in nine days, Harry Ferguson would get the start for the Abbey, going opposite Dario Santangelo.
Mount Olive would offer a lead to Santangelo going to the fifth, as the Trojans scored a pair of runs in the second, followed by a single run in the third.
The Crusaders would finally get their offense going, scoring four runs in the fifth. In the frame, the Abbey sent eight players to the plate, with Nick Nunziato providing a two run triple to give the Abbey a 4-3 lead
The advantage was short lived, as UMO retaliated with the runs to retake the lead at 6-4.
Brett Lang would get to Ferguson, hitting his second homer off the right hander in this year's event. The three run shot would give Santangelo the chance to earn the win.
The Trojans would go to Austin Hutchinson in the sixth, and the Crusaders greeted him rudely, as Lorenzo Wright homered down the left field line, cutting the lead to 6-5.
Mount Olive would stretch the lead in the bottom of the frame, scoring twice to go up 8-5.
The Crusaders would get their final run in the eighth, as Matt McGarry drove home Connor Kwalwasser to cut the deficit to 8-6.
In the end, the Trojans would dispatch the Crusaders in the ninth to avenge last year's elimination to the Abbey.
Santangelo earned the win, as Ferguson dropped his first decision of the season. Hutchinson would the earn the save, sending the Trojans to a deciding game with Pfeiffer to determine the tourney champion. The winner further earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Southeast Regional.
For the Crusaders, Weston Clarke had the lone multi hit game, as the Gainesville, FL senior went 10 for 18 during the four game stretch, a .555 average throughout.
The Crusaders will now entertain Armstrong State in a three game series at Abbey Yard. The Crusaders will keep an eye on the bracket reveal, seeking an at-large bid into the national tournament. The selection show will take place on May 15 at 10pm.
Airtime for the Friday opener will be at 6pm, with airtime on BASN taking place at 5:45pm. Log onto: www.basn.wgnc.net for the audio broadcast.