WILSON, N.C. – The Belmont Abbey baseball team came back to capture a 9-7, extra inning thriller, in the first game of a conference series against Barton. The Crusader improve to 12-11 on the year and 5-5 in conference play. Barton moves to 14-8 this season with a 1-6 conference record.
The Barton Bulldogs got out to a quick and substantial lead scoring six runs in the first inning. The Bulldogs took advantage of five hits and an error to control the early part of the game. The Crusaders countered with a rally in the second to cut Barton's lead to three as they scored three runs on three hits. Luke Cuerton homered to start the inning followed by a Josh Genthe walk and Nick Beinlich's RBI double. Beinlich proceeded to steal third and was able to score on a throwing error.
Barton tacked on another run in the fourth after a double and single and the Bulldogs took a 7-3 lead into the seventh inning.
The Abbey continue to scratch away plating two runs in the seventh. After a Genthe walk and Beinlich double, Matt McGarry recorded the RBI groundout. Beinlich would later score on a Barton miscue as the Crusaders cut the lead to 7-5. In the eighth, Kayden Krause walked and Robert Lathrop was hit by a pitch to set up Thomas Yoder's two RBI triple in the right-center field gap to tie the game.
Lathrop lead off the 10th inning with a single and was bunted over to second by Yoder. Genthe then laid down a bunt single to put runner at the corners with one out. A wild pitch allowed the Crusaders to break the tie and later a balk added an insurance run.
Cameron Busby started the game for the Abbey and went 7.2 innings allowing six earned runs on 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Robert Frantzis came on in relief going the final 2.1 innings, not allowing a hit, as he struck out three, to record his second win of the season. Barton starter, Trent Fennell, went 7.0 innings allowing three earned runs on nine hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
The Abbey tallied 12 hits in the contest as five Crusaders managed multiple hits on the day. Beinlich, McGarry, Cuerton, Lathrop, and Genthe each recorded two hits and Yoder drove in two runs.
The Crusaders continue the series tomorrow with a double header against Barton beginning at 12:00 p.m.