BELMONT, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team won their first series of the year, splitting a doubleheader with Newberry to take two of the three-game set. The Crusaders won in dramatic fashion, scoring six runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk-off with the 6-5 win. Prior to the start of the doubleheader, the Belmont Abbey baseball team honored alumni and current Oakland Athletics pitcher Emilio Pagan with a banner in right field.
The first game was dominated by Newberry pitcher Evan Estridge, who did not allow a hit in the first five innings, striking out nine. The Abbey was able to fill the hit column in the sixth inning when Jakob Rolly lifted a double in the left-center gap.
Blake Waldren started on the mound for Belmont Abbey going five innings allowing four runs on two walks, striking out four.
The Wolves held a 5-0 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh, and last, inning of game one.
Matt McGarry started the inning with a walk followed by a single by Colin Rosenbaum. Luke Cureton doubled, scoring McGarry. Josh Genthe worked a walk before Kevin Elefante laced a two-run single down the right-field line. A.J Hendricks scorched a single up the middle, scoring Genthe to bring the Crusaders within one. Nick Beinlich worked a walk setting up McGarry, who poked a single through the right side, scoring pinch-runner Ian Mayers and Hendricks to win the game.
Sam Luchansky was credited with the win, pitching two innings allowing just two hits, one walk, and striking out one.
In game two, Newberry was able to score runs in the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings to secure a 6-0 win. The Wolves avoided the sweep with eight hits, the biggest being a two-run home run by Chase Olenchuk.
Ryan Harbin recorded the win on the mound for Newberry, tossing five innings, allowing three hits, three walks, and striking out four. Jeff Thompson was given the loss, also pitching five innings allowing seven hits, four runs, one walk, and striking out five.
Belmont Abbey will play Catawba Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Abbey Yard beginning at 4 P.M.