BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team registered another sweep of a conference opponent, as they have now won eight game in a row, following their 17-0 and 4-2 victories over Southern Wesleyan. The two wins make the Crusaders 18-11 with a 10-5 conference record. With the sweep, Chris Anderson records his 100th victory as head coach of the Crusaders.
The Abbey cruised to a 17-0 victory in game one behind a stellar pitching performance from Jeff Thompson, who allowed a single hit through his 6.0 innings of work. Thompson walked four batters but struck out 10 on the outing to record his third win.
Belmont Abbey scored three runs in the second inning as the Crusaders executed a successful double steal with Kayden Krause scoring as Kennan Stanley swiped second. Thomas Yoder and Matt McGarry each followed with RBI singles. In the third, Luke Cureton drove in a run with a double down the right-field line to push the lead to 4-0.
Colin Rosenbaum laced a two-run single in the fourth before Nick Nunziato blasted his first home run of the season over the scoreboard in left, giving the Crusaders the 8-0 advantage. With two runners on, Matt McGarry crushed his first home run of the season in the fifth, further extending the lead to 11-0.
Southern Wesleyan starter, Josh Antwine was given the loss as he threw 4.0 innings allowing seven earned runs, on eight hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Game two was more of a pitchers dual, as SWU starter JJ Julian and Belmont Abbey's Troy Herterick battled to keep the opponent off the board. Julian went 6.0 innings allowing two runs, on four hits, with four walks and 10 strikeouts as Herterick tossed 5.2 innings giving up one run on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Neither pitcher received a decision.
Southern Wesleyan struck first when, with a runner on second, a wild pitch followed by a throwing error allowed the runner to score. The Warriors held the 1-0 lead until the fourth when the exact same sequence of events allowed them to double their lead.
The Abbey responded in the bottom of the fourth, as Cureton singled home Elefante, to cut the lead in half. The Crusaders then executed another successful double steal to tie the game at two. BAC tried to take the lead with a suicide squeeze attempt but were cut down at the plate after a very athletic play by the pitcher, Julian.
The contest remained tied through the next three innings, going into the bottom of the eighth. McGarry was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Nunziato came up with a pinch-hit home run to give the Crusaders the lead.
The Crusaders travel to face Carson-Newman Tuesday, with a 2:30 start.