BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders (38-14-1) took advantage of a 17 hit barrage to win the opening game of a Saturday twin bill over Armstrong State (18-32) by a 15-6 score. Armstrong would gain the split on the day, beating the Crusaders 10-2 in the regular season finale.
In the opener, the Crusaders would score in five of the six frames against the Pirates, as Nick Beinlich got the day started right. The Pennsylvania native slugged his twelfth homer of the season to lead off the game for the Abbey.
The Crusaders would follow up the homer with three more runs in the first, followed by three runs in the second. The second inning was highlighted by Weston Clarke's two run single. Clarke would finish the opener a perfect 4 for 4, part of three multi-hit games for the senior on the weekend.
In total for the Abbey, five players recorded multi-hit games, as Colin Rosenbaum and Kayden Krause would collect three safeties in the contest. Nick Nunziato would join the hit parade with Conor Kwalwasser, launching his 18th homer of the year to go with five RBI.
Kyle Halbohn would pick up the win in relief of Blake Waldren, his fifth of the season. Waldren would toss four innings before handing the ball to the senior from Pawley's Island, who would finish off the game for the Crusaders.
In game two, Matt Davenport would make his final start at Abbey Yard, and would find the sledding tough against the Pirates.
Armstrong State would jump out in front for starting pitcher Blake Turner by plating three runs in the first, followed by a pair in the second.
The Crusaders were never able to get close, with Kevin Elefante being the extent of the offense, homering in the second to cut the lead to 5-2.
Turner would earn the win for Armstrong State, his second of the season. Davenport absorbs the loss, moving to 5-3. Elefante would scratch the lone extra base hit in the finale.
The Crusaders will now play the waiting game, looking to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA Southeast Regional. The selection committee will reveal the club's after the conclusion of the Peach Belt Championship, taking place in Florence, SC.
Stay tuned to www.abbeyathletics.com for information regarding all things Crusaders.