Crusaders clip Barton baseball in series opener
BELMONT, N.C.-The Belmont Abbey College baseball team scored the first ten runs of the game, six coming in the second inning, as the Crusaders opened a three-game Conference Carolinas series with a 15-9 win over the visiting Barton College Bulldogs Friday afternoon at Abbey Yard.
The No. 9 NCBWA Southeast Region ranked Crusaders improved to 28-15 overall and 16-6 in Conference Carolinas, while Barton dropped to 14-28 overall and 5-15 in league play. The loss coupled with a King College victory over North Greenville University eliminated the Bulldogs from the Conference Carolinas Tournament.
Belmont Abbey dominated early, scoring two runs in the first; using a Bulldogs fielding error to take a lead it would never lose. Gabby Amor worked a one out walk and scored on Justin Vasquez's triple to right center. Vasquez scored on a throwing error when the throw from the second baseman into third sailed over the wall.
Gabe Wallmeyer set Barton down in order in the top of the second, and the Abbey blew the game open with six runs in the bottom of the frame. Caleb Shore was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and stole second. He moved to third on an infield single by Ian Vazquez and scored on John Cucchiarella's single to left. After Vazquez and Cucchiarella moved up a base on a wild pitch, Kyle Buchanan blasted a double to left to score both men and increase the lead to 5-0. After a lineout to third by Amor, Buchanan scooted to third on a wild pitch, and he scored on Vasquez's single to right to move the advantage to 6-0. Joey Frabasile capped off the inning with a homer to left to extend the lead to 8-0.
Wallmeyer worked around a walk and a single in the top of the third to keep the shutout, and the Crusaders added to their lead in the third on an RBI triple by Cucchiarella, and a single by Buchanan that plated Cucchiarella for the tenth run of the game.
Barton scored its first run in the fifth. Sophomore Collins Cuthrell singled home senior Chris Rawlings. Rawlings almost produced the Bulldogs first run of the game earlier, when his single to right allowed junior Tyler Barrington to storm for home, but Shore's throw to Buchanan at home beat him by three steps and he was tagged out. Barton continued its offensive outburst in the sixth as Barrington's double scored junior Zac Crumpler, and the Bulldogs added two more in the seventh on an RBI double by Cuthrell, who later scored on a sacrifice fly to close the lead to 10-4.
Seeing its lead down to just six runs, the Crusaders fired right back in the bottom of the seventh with five runs on two hits. Frabasile struck again with a two RBI double, and Stephen Mullis followed with a two RBI single. A Barton fielding error on a grounder by Shore allowed Emilio Pagan to score an unearned run from third to move the lead to 15-4.
Barton would not go away, as the Bulldogs matched the Abbey's five runs in the top of the eighth. Junior Clay Martin led off with a double to left and moved to third on a single by Barrington, who then raced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Spiers Miller followed with a single and moved to second on a throwing error by Frabasile, which allowed Martin and Barrington to come home. After a flyout by Rawlings, Cuthrell was hit by a pitch to put two runners on for senior Ryan Daughtry, who blasted a homer to right to cut the lead to 15-9. It would not be enough as the Abbey held on for the win.
Wallmeyer went seven innings to earn the win, as he gave up four runs on 12 hits, striking out five. Christian Oliver was charged with the loss after giving up eight runs, all earned, on six hits in an inning and a third.
Frabasile finished two for four with four RBI. Vasquez collected three hits in four at bats, falling just a homer short of the cycle. He drove in two runs, as did Mullis. Buchanan finished with two hits and three RBI.
Release courtesy of Belmont Abbey sports information