Posted: Mar 19, 2016
GAFFNEY, SC - The Belmont Abbey Crusaders had their perfect Conference Carolinas record end at 13 games as the Limestone Saints turned away the Crusaders by a 5-4 score today at Founders Federal Credit Union Stadium. The Crusaders would win the three game set with a 9-8 win in the finale.
In game one, Weston Clarke scratched out three hits to lead the Abbey, but the offense sputtered for the most part in the seven inning contest. Bryon Munsterman pitched a complete game to earn his third win of the year, allowing the four runs on just five hits.
A Nick Beinlich two run single in the first would stake starting pitcher Blake Waldren to an early cushion. But the Saints would score single runs in the first, third and fourth innings to take a tie game to the fifth.
In the eventful fifth inning, Nick Nunziato would single, steal second and then score on a single from Clarke.
However, the Crusaders could not make the lead stick, as Chris Stewart would give the Saints the lead for good with a two run single.
Munsterman would take advantage of the situation, as he retired the final seven batters he faced.
Waldren would be dealt the setback, tossing 4.1 innings for the Abbey.
The rubber game would bounce from one side to the other, as the lead changed hands five times before the Crusaders were able to escape Gaffney with the one run win.
In the finale, Clarke continued his finely tuned stroke, collecting three hits. Nick Beinlich would also have a multi hit game, as the Crusaders recorded 11 hits safely.
However, Lorenzo Wright would be the hero again today, driving home three runs in critical situations to give the Abbey a late inning lead.
In the fifth, Wright would triple to right center, driving home Clarke and Beinlich to give the Abbey a 6-5 lead.
Brett Duckett would answer for Limestone with a two run homer to retake a 7-6 advantage through five innings.
In the seventh, with the Crusaders knotted 7-7, Wright would double home Jeff Thompson to put the Crusaders ahead for good. Wright would steal third and score on a RBI single from Thomas Yoder to stretch the Abbey lead to 9-7.
In the eighth, Limestone would threaten once more, putting runners at first and second with just one down.
The moment would call for Kyle Halbohn, who would be asked to record the final five outs of the contest for the Crusaders.
Halbohn would not disappoint, causing a strike out and fly out to end the inning.
In the ninth, Halbohn would strike out two of three Limestone batters to earn his fifth save.
The win would be the Abbey's fifth consecutive series win in Conference Carolinas play, taking their record to 14-1, 24-5-1 overall.
The split on Saturday would take Limestone to 3-9 inside conference play, 12-18 overall.
On Tuesday, Francis Marion comes to Abbey Yard to wrap up the two game series against the Crusaders. Belmont Abbey defeated the Patriots 4-3 in extra innings last month. The BASN will air the contest on Tuesday. Find the radio streaming at: www.basn.wgnc.net.