BELMONT, N.C. – The No. 20 Belmont Abbey baseball team rallied in the eighth to win the first game of the final Conference Carolinas series of the year beating Erskine 9-4. Jakob Rolly crushed a two-run triple to tie the game in the seventh and Colin Rosenbaum doubled to score Nick Beinlich all the way from first to complete the comeback and improve The Abbey to 35-9 on the year an 17-4 in conference play. Erskine is now 24-13 with a 10-11 league record.
Belmont Abbey got off to a quick start when they scored two runs in the first inning off of Luke Cureton's nation-leading 24th double of the year. Erskine would get one run back in the third when Kyle Heiss drove an RBI single up the middle. The game would remain at the 2-1 score as both starting pitchers would settle into a groove. Abbey starter Cameron Busby collected eight strikeouts in his seven innings of work while Fleet starter Michael Carpin matched Busby's seven K's in his five innings.
Erskine tied the game in the sixth when Austin Mapes homered over the right-center field wall. The Flying Fleet took the lead that same inning when a double steal attempt forced a throwing error, allowing a run to score. In the seventh, Chaz Davey's double scored another run to give Erskine a 4-2 lead going into the bottom half of the seventh.
Cureton and Josh Genthe both worked walks in the bottom of the seventh which set up Rolly's triple in the left-center gap. Both runners would score tying the game at four. In the eighth, Beinlich worked a walk and Rosenbaum lined a double over the left fielder's head. After pausing to make sure the catch was not going to be made, Beinlich raced around the bases to give The Abbey the 5-4 lead. Genthe added a sac fly and Kevin Elefante doubled in another run before a throwing error allowed two more runs to score giving the Crusaders the 9-4 advantage.
Parker MacPhail recorded his fourth win of the year going 1.1 innings allowing one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.
Belmont Abbey will continue their series against Erskine with a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. Before the first pitch the Belmont Abbey baseball team will honor their seniors with a pregame ceremony.