BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team wins their second consecutive conference series this weekend, taking two games out of three against King. The Crusaders split the Saturday doubleheader after taking Friday night's contest. The Abbey won game one on Saturday 9-3 and King took the second game 7-4. Belmont Abbey improves to 9-8 on the season with a 5-2 conference record as King moves to 8-6 and 1-2 in conference play.
In game one, The Abbey received a strong complete game, seven innings from Cameron Busby. Busby allowed just one earned run on six hits surrendering no walks with four strikeouts. The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead plating a run in the first inning when Nick Beinlich scored on a wild pitch.
King took the lead in the second inning, scoring two runs after a Crusader miscue. Belmont Abbey tied the game in the bottom half of the second after Thomas Yoder was hit by a pitch and Josh Genthe and Matt McGarry both singled to load the bases. Kennan Stanley hit a slow roller between the pitcher and third basemen that resulted in an RBI single.
In the third inning, the Abbey tacked on two more runs with one swing off the bat of Kayden Krause as he drilled a two run homer over the left field wall. With King scoring another run in the fifth as a result of a Crusader error, Belmont Abbey put the game out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Krause launched his second home run of the game and Matt McGarry tripled in two runs to push the lead to 8-3. Belmont Abbey added an insurance run in the sixth when Stanley crushed a solo home run down the left field line.
Both Krause and McGarry totaled three hits apiece in game one with Krause driving in three runs and McGarry recording two RBIs.
In game two, the Crusaders faced Octavio Mirabal, who threw an effective 7.0 innings allowing four runs on six hits while striking out seven for his fourth win of the season.
King jumped out the lead with three runs in the first with a four hit inning. The Crusaders were also able to get on the board in the first with a solo home run from Beinlich, his eighth of the season. King crossed the plate again in the second, benefitting from a pass ball and the Crusaders tallied another run in the second after a bases loaded hit-by-pitch.
King held a 4-2 lead into the fourth inning before Yoder uncorked a game tying, two run home run. In the fifth, King regained the lead after a hit-by-pitch and back-to-back singles. Travis Block was able to come on in relief in the fifth and force the Tornado to hit into a double play to end the rally.
King added a run in the eighth and ninth to seal the deal and the win. Ross Garrett was able to come in, in the ninth, to fan three Tornado.
The Crusaders head to Greenwood, S.C. to face Lander on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.