BELMONT, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey baseball team completed its fourth Conference Carolinas series win in six tries as it split a Sunday doubleheader with Pfeiffer, losing the opener 6-1 and rallying to take the nightcap 20-0 behind Gabe Wallmeyer's five hit shutout and catcher Kyle Buchanan's 4-4, seven RBI effort. The Abbey is now 23-12 overall and 13-5 in Conference Carolinas, while Pfeiffer drops to 17-13, 8-7.
The first game, which was seven innings long, began Saturday afternoon and was stopped after the top of the first with Pfeiffer leading 2-0 due to lightning. In that top of the first, Justin Harris clubbed a two-run homer to put the Falcons ahead. After a pair of strikeouts, the half inning was ended and the game was delayed until 1:00 p.m. today.
In the top of the second the Falcons extended their lead to 2-0 on a two-RBI single by Kevin Price that scored Matt Wade and Preston Lyon. Both runs were unearned as Wade reached on an error and the runs came in with two outs.
The Crusaders closed the gap to 4-1 in the bottom of the second as Emilo Pagan led off with an infield single, stole second, raced to third on a single by Stephen Mullis and scored on a groundout double play by Buchanan.
That was all of the scoring until the fourth inning when Price's single down the rightfield line scored Wade. One inning later, the Falcons closed the scoring as Lyon's sacrifice fly to right was deep enough to score Jon Gray, who opened the frame with a walk, moved to second on a single by Dalton Lindley and was sacrificed to third by Cole McGraw.
The Crusaders only had one baserunner in the last two innings, but did not reach scoring position as Pfeiffer won game two.
Bryan Tuttle earned the win as he went the distance, holding the Abbey to one run on three hits, striking out seven. Nate Cudney took the loss as he yielded six runs, four earned, on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings. He struck out seven and walked four.
Lindley and Price both had two hits and Price drove in three runs. Harris recorded a pair of RBI. Pfeiffer totaled seven hits. The Crusaders had three players record one hit apiece.
The second game was all Belmont Abbey as the Crusaders seized control from the start with a 4-0 first inning. Gabby Amor was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. Ian Vazquez singled him to third, and he scored on Pagan's groundout. Mullis followed with a double to right center that scored Vazquez and Frabasile, and Buchanan produced the last run with a single up the middle to score Mullis.
The contest stayed at 4-0 until the fourth when the Crusader lead grew to 6-0 on RBI singles by Jon Pilla and Amor. One inning later, the Abbey blew the game open on one pitch, as the Crusaders loaded the bases with nobody out and Buchanan cleared them with a line-drive blast down the leftfield line, clearing the wall by inches to open the lead to 10-0.
A sacrifice fly by Frabasile in the sixth made the score 11-0, and one inning later the Abbey tacked on nine more runs on six hits, taking advantage of two Pfeiffer errors, to make it 20-0. The Crusaders received RBI singles by Vazquez and Pagan and an RBI double by Vasquez. Shore scored on one of four Pfeiffer errors, and Buchanan struck again, driving in his sixth and seventh runs of the game with a single up the middle to score Pagan and Michael Vargas, who came into pinch run for Vasquez. Shore kept the rally going with an RBI single to bring home Frabasile. Pfeiffer then made its third pitching change of the inning, and Pilla kept the rally going with a double to the gap in right center, scoring Shore and Dakota Irwin, who pinch ran for Buchanan.
Wallmeyer kept Pfeiffer off balance all day, as five of his strikeouts came on the first 14 batters he faced. He finished with nine strikeouts and walked just one as his record moved to 5-1. Four of the five hits he allowed were singles. Eric Shuford was charged with the loss after giving up ten runs, nine earned, in four innings, striking out four and walking two.
The Crusaders recorded 17 hits as Buchanan led the Abbey with four hits in four at bats, with seven RBI. His batting average rose from .229 to 260 in all games and from .271 in conference only games to .327. Pagan rapped out three hits and two RBI, while Vasquez, Vazquez Amor and Pilla all finished with two hits. Pilla drove in three runs.