BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team won its seventh conference series Saturday, as they took two games from Limestone this weekend. The Crusaders (25-15, 16-8) won Friday's contest and split Saturday's doubleheader as Limestone (20-19, 9-12) took game one 5-3, and the Crusaders won game two 17-5. Six Crusaders recorded multi-hit days led by senior Kennan Stanley who tallied four hits and three runs scored. Luke Cureton also laced four hits, touching the plate five times on the day.
Game one was a pitcher's duel as each starter went into the fifth inning. Abbey starter Troy Herterick went 4.2 allowing one earned run on six hits, striking out three. Limestone's Josh Shailer earned the win, pitching 5.0 innings allowing three runs on six hits as he struck out seven. Jalen Byrd came on to record the six out save, his fourth of the season.
The Abbey struck first as Kevin Elefante homered to lead off the third inning, giving the Crusaders the 1-0 advantage. In the fifth, Limestone countered with five runs, taking advantage of three hits, two walks, and a Crusader masque. In the bottom of the fifth the Abbey answered with two runs, Cureton scored on a wild pitch and Stanley scored on a fielder's choice. That 5-3 score would hold the remainder of the game and each bullpen closed the door on the offense.
Game two started with a bang as each team scored in the opening frame. Limestone took the 1-0 lead after three singles scored the first run of the game. The Abbey responded immediately as Nick Beinlich homered in the first at bat for the Crusaders.
Limestone plated four runs in the third, off five hits including back-to-back home runs from Zach Piazza and Chase Allen. Belmont Abbey responded again, this time with six runs. Matt McGarry launched a two-run homer over the left field wall and Jakob Rolly crushed a three-run bomb into the bushes beyond the left-center field fence to give the Abbey the 6-5 lead. Thomas Yoder singled in a run before the frame was up to increase the advantage.
Belmont Abbey tacked on four more in the fourth as Yoder drove in two with a single and Beinlich laced a bases loaded single. The fifth inning saw two more Crusader runs as Krause recorded an RBI ground ball and Cureton scored on a wild pitch. Beinlich manufactured his own run in the sixth as he walked and stole second, third, and home. The Abbey pushed three more runs across in the seventh when Cureton and Stanley both doubled down the left field line and Cody Dills hit and RBI ground ball.
Blake Waldren earned his fifth win, throwing 6.0 innings allowing five runs on 12 hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. Parker MacPhail, Ross Garrett, and Grayson Miller all came on in relief to seal the deal for The Abbey.
Eight seniors were honored before the game as it was their last home conference series of their careers. Kennan Stanley, Nick Nunziato, Kayden Krause, Leighton Gibson, Cody Dills, Deston Cox, Grayson Miller, and Ross Garrett were all given a framed jersey from the coaching staff.
The Crusaders will travel to Savannah, Ga. to take on Armstrong State, Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.