BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team opened up their season on a beautiful day at Abbey Yard against Lenoir-Rhyne. The Crusaders could not string a rally together and were outlasted by the Bears 6-1.
Colin Rosenbaum put the Crusaders up right away in the bottom of the first inning, taking Lenoir-Rhyne's starting pitcher, Thomas St. Clair, deep over the left-center field fence. A Crusaders rally in the second inning sparked by Josh Genthe single and Luke Cureton hit-by-pitch was short lived as St. Clair was able to erase the threat with a fly out and strikeout.
The Bears answered in the top of the third when centerfielder Justin Dean homered off Abbey's starter Cameron Busby. LR tried to continue the rally with a double by Marcus Shoemaker but Busby was able to induce a groundout and strikeout to expunge the threat.
Lenoir-Rhyne was able to take the lead in the top of the fourth inning off a home run by Josh Kent. The Bears added some insurance run capitalizing on a walk and error with a home run off the bat of David Newcomer.
Kayden Krause tried to spark the Crusader bats with a single in the sixth inning, Genthe followed with a walk but the Abbey could not push them across.
The Bears benefitted from the long ball again as Shoemaker connected for a round tripper to push the lead to 6-1.
During the last licks for the Crusaders Matt McGarry laced a double into left-center but to no avail.
St. Clair recorded the win pitching 5.0 innings allowing three hits, giving up one run while striking out nine. Curtis entered in the sixth inning to record the four inning save as he struck out seven.
Busby worked 6.0 innings allowing six hits, five earned runs, and just one walk while fanning six. Troy Heterick appeared in relief for one inning followed by Sam Luchansky and Ross Garrett with an inning apiece.
The Crusaders will host Newberry Friday afternoon at Abbey Yard, first pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.