Tyler Waddell – Sports Information Graduate Assistant
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Derek Perry had three hits for a second straight game and seven different batters knocked in at least one run, but the No. 6-seeded Pfeiffer University baseball team (24-24) was outlasted by No. 3 seed Belmont Abbey (33-15) with a final of 11-9 on the third day of the Conference Carolinas tournament.
Perry, who finished 3-for-5 with an RBI on Saturday, went 3-for-6 with a grand slam against Barton on Friday. He's hit safety in each of his last 10 appearances, working up a .365 batting average with 11 RBI and 17 runs scored over that span.
As expected, the bats were the strength of both teams as they combined for 25 hits in 75 total chances (.333) on the afternoon. The last time Pfeiffer and Belmont Abbey met was on March 25, resulting in a 24-hit, 34-run slugfest – also in favor of the Crusaders.
After scoring three runs off just one hit, the Falcons had a 3-1 lead entering the fourth inning. That's when BAC took advantage of two walks and two errors, whipping up three hits – including a three-run home run from Colin Rosenbaum – to plate five runs and go out in front 6-3. Pfeiffer chipped one from its deficit in the bottom half of the inning, but BAC got it right back and led 7-4 after six-and-a-half.
Tanner Mathis and Kirby Lambert began the bottom of the seventh by reaching base to, giving PFU a real opportunity to once again cut into the lead. Xavier Rodriguez hit into a fielder's choice during the next at bat, but Guage Gantt came up clutch with a two-RBI double to left center to make it 7-6 with two innings left.
However, understanding that the game was far from over and that they were still in need of some insurance to ensure a bid to the championship Sunday afternoon, the Crusaders went back to work at the plate. They were able to add two more runs off three hits and an error to increase their lead back to three, needing just six outs to move on.
But Pfeiffer, known for its late-game heroics as of late, was not finished. A leadoff double by Perry was followed by an RBI triple via Jordan Eckard. After a Zach Scudder groundout that scored Eckard, Mathis reached base on a walk and then Kirby Lambert singled to center. Rodriguez joined the action with an RBI single to tie the game at 9-apiece to become that much closer at yet another comeback victory.
Benefitting from a single and two hit batters top start the top of the ninth, Belmont Abbey crossed two more runs in their final at bat to take its third (and last) lead of the back-and-forth, four-hour game. The Falcons went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to give the Crusaders the 11-9 win and an automatic entry to the Conference Carolinas championship game Sunday at 4 p.m.
Nick Richmond had a solid outing, going 5.0 innings allowing seven hits and six runs (two earned) with four strikeouts. Rodriguez (2-3) received the loss. In addition to another fabulous day at the plate for Perry, Eckard finished with his fifth multi-hit performance in six games (2-for-6, RBI).
Pfeiffer can still vie for a rematch and reach the title game, but will need to beat the winner of North Greenville/Mount Olive tomorrow at 1 p.m.
April 29, 2017 Falcons Outscored 11-9 in Day 3 Battle with Belmont Abbey
April 28, 2017 Scudder, Elwood and Eckard Named Second Team All-Conference
April 25, 2017 Pfeiffer and Methodist Baseball Game Cancelled
April 21, 2017 Pfeiffer Sweeps Their Way into Conference Tournament Bid
April 20, 2017 Schedule Change For This Weekend's Series Versus King
April 18, 2017 Falcons Falls To NAIA Saint Andrews, 8-6
April 15, 2017 Falcons Drop a Pair of Games to North Greenville on Saturday
April 14, 2017 Falcons Grind out 15 Hits But Fall to Crusaders
April 8, 2017 Falcons Split with Lions on Saturday
April 7, 2017 Pfeiffer Holds on for 6-5 Win Over Emmanuel
April 2, 2017 Barton Defeats Pfeiffer On Sunday, 2-1
April 1, 2017 Pfeiffer Sweeps Saturday's Doubleheader At Barton
March 28, 2017 Pfeiffer Scores 14 in Big Win Against Lenoir-Rhyne
March 25, 2017 Crusaders Sweep Falcons In Saturday Doubleheader
March 22, 2017 Falcons Win in Ten Innings at Newberry, 10-9
March 18, 2017 No. 5 Mount Olive Tops Pfeiffer In Saturday Doubleheader
March 17, 2017 Trojans Hold on to Top Falcons in Series Opener
March 14, 2017 Falcons Erase Five-Run Deficit to Defeat Montreat
March 10, 2017 Falcons Fall To Warriors In A Nine Inning Slugfest
February 28, 2017 Falcons Come Up Short In Late Inning Comeback Bid at Saint Andrews
February 25, 2017 Falcons Fall In Both Games Of Doubleheader At Erskine
February 24, 2017 Erskine Uses Three-Run Eighth Inning to Hold Off Pfeiffer, 7-3
February 22, 2017 Pfeiffer Comes Back From Five Runs Down To Defeat Newberry, 8-7
February 21, 2017 Pfeiffer Falls On The Road At Catawba
February 19, 2017 Falcons Win 14-9, Sweep Weekend Series
February 18, 2017 Pfeiffer Rallies In Game One And Goes On To Take Both Games On Saturday
February 12, 2017 Falcons Take Series At Barry With A Season-High 14 Runs
February 11, 2017 Falcons Erupt For Seven In The Fifth And Go On To Win, 10-6
February 10, 2017 Falcons Lose Game One In Weekend Series At Barry
February 7, 2017 Toney Pitches Six Solid Innings But Falcons Fall To UNCP
February 1, 2017 Falcons Can't Silence Catawba's Bats on Opening Day
January 30, 2017 Pair of Falcons Earn Preseason Recognition on All-Region Team
January 16, 2017 Falcons Look to Play the Underdog Role Again in 2017