BELMONT, N.C. - Trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth, the Belmont Abbey baseball team scored six unanswered runs, all coming via home runs, as the Crusaders salvaged a three-game Conference Carolinas series by avoiding a sweep with a 12-8 win over Pfeiffer this afternoon at Abbey Yard. The Crusaders improve to 5-7 overall and 3-2 in Conference Carolinas, while the Falcons drop to 5-8 overall and 3-3 in Conference Carolinas.
Down 8-6 heading to the bottom of the sixth, catcher Spencer Sobol trimmed the lead to one with a leadoff homer. Caleb Shore followed with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Dye. Josh Frazier then drew a walk, and Roland Rodriguez moved the Abbey ahead for good with a three-run shot to left to push the Crusaders ahead 10-8.
One inning later, the Abbey scored two insurance runs on a two-run shot by Chris Vazquez, his second of the day, which also plated Danny Brion, who was hit by a pitch.
The Crusaders opened the game by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first, three coming on a homer to left center by Vazquez and the other on a single to right by Roberto Sanchez.
Pfeiffer began to chip away at the Abbey's lead, scoring single runs in the second and third, and would climb ahead for the first time with a six run fifth inning in which they sent 11 men to the plate. Julian Medina and Preston Lyon both had a two-RBI doubles, while Myles Pearl clubbed an RBI double. Aarin Sharpe plated another on a sacrifice fly, but the Falcons did not score again as Joey Kopp entered the game with two outs in the fifth and stopped the bleeding with a strikeout to end the inning. He would work through the eighth inning, in which he held Pfeiffer hitless and allowed just one base runner, issuing a walk while striking out three to earn the win. Brett DiPasquale worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the game. Bryan Tuttle took the loss after giving up all four runs in the sixth on three hits, striking out two in two innings.
The Abbey finished with nine hits as Vazquez finished two for four with five RBI and two runs scored. Rodriguez also had two hits and two runs scored. Shore and Sobol both scored twice.
Lyon led Pfeiffer with three hits in five at bats, driving in two and scoring one run. The Falcons recorded 13 hits.
Pfeiffer will begin a lengthy ten game homestand stretching over the next two weeks, beginning Tuesday against Tusculum. The Falcons and Pioneers will square off at 2:00 p.m.