FLORENCE, N.C. – Nick Beinlich delivered a one-out RBI single in the 11th inning to lift the Belmont Abbey baseball team over Francis Marion 10-9. The Crusaders have now won eight straight as they are now ranked 11th in the country according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Abbey improves to 12-2 on the year as Francis Marion moves to 7-6.
Belmont Abbey managed 12 hits in the contest as four Crusaders recorded a multi-hit game. Beinlich, Matt McGarry, Luke Cureton, and Kevin Elefante led the hit parade with Thomas Yoder and Cureton each driving in three runs.
Francis Marion scored the first run of the ballgame in the first inning off a sac fly from Alex Griffith. The Abbey took the lead in the third with four runs benefitting from McGarry's RBI single followed by Yoder's three-run home run, his third homer in two days. The Crusaders added to their lead in the fourth as Cureton got ahold of his second home run of the season.
The Patriots pushed three runs across in the fifth, with two coming from a single off the bat of William Robbins. Francis Marion tied the game in the sixth utilizing a sac fly and took the lead later that inning when Henry Davis homered to left.
Belmont Abbey trailed 6-5 going into the eighth when McGarry scored in a throwing error and Cureton doubled in two runs. After taking advantage of another error, The Abbey held an 8-6 lead heading into the ninth. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth Francis Marion's Trey Chapman singled in a run which was followed up by the game-tying single by Tee DuBose, forcing extra innings.
Elefante lead off the 11th with a single, and after moving to second on a ground ball scored when Beinlich drove a single to right-field.
Beck Way came in to close the game in the bottom of the 11th, which was highlighted by a spectacular catch by Robert Lathrop in right field, making a diving catch falling over the fence in foul territory. Way earned the save, his first of the year.
Belmont Abbey used seven pitchers in the game, started by Griffin Baker. Baker went 5.0 innings allowing four runs on seven hits, one walk, and one strikeout. Parker MacPhail earned the win with his 1.1 innings of relief.
The Crusaders will travel to Southern Wesleyan this weekend for a conference series against the Warriors.