BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey Baseball team was not able to string a rally together against the Tusculum Pioneers as it dropped the first game of the weekend series, 3-0 Friday night. The Crusaders move to 3-3 on the season as the Pioneers improve to 2-3.
The game saw a pitchers' duel between the Abbey's Blake Waldron and Tusculum's Zach Slagle. Each starter went 6.0 innings before giving way to relief. Waldron surrendered two runs on five hits while striking out four as Slagle gave up four hits and gained sox strikeouts.
The Pioneers manufactured two runs in the third inning, utilizing a leadoff walk followed by a single and sacrifice bunt. First baseman Nick Lacina found a hole between first and second and both runners came around to score. Tusculum added an insurance run in the ninth when catcher Cole Baxley homered to left field.
The offense for the Crusaders was spread out enough that they were not able to push across a run. The Abbey only managed two innings with multiple hits. First basemen Kayden Krause and catcher Thomas Yoder each recorded a pair of singles and right fielder Kennan Stanley roped a double. The Crusaders left 10 runners on base in the game.
The Crusaders continue the three-game series against Tusculum with a doubleheader Saturday. Game one will begin at 12:00 noon.