Baseball falls 10-4 to Belmont Abbey in home opener

Baseball falls 10-4 to Belmont Abbey in home opener

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Thomas Yoder went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Belmont Abbey baseball team to a 10-4 win over Tusculum Thursday night at Pioneer Park.

The Crusaders (4-1) recorded 10 hits with six of them being of the extra-base variety, while riding the stellar pitching performance of starter Cameron Busby.  Busby (2-0) went seven innings, scattered eight hits, allowed three runs and struck out four. 

Parker MacPhail pitched the final two frames for Belmont Abbey to pick up his first save of the year to go along with his six strikeouts including a stretch of four in a row.

Tusculum (2-3) finished with nine hits, including two-hit performances from Daulton Martin, Garrett Dupuis and Zack Finchum.

The Crusaders scored three times in the top of the third inning, all with two outs.  Matt McGarry reached on a one-out walk and moved to third on Luke Cureton's two-out double.  McGarry scored and Cureton moved to third on a wild pitch from TC starter Zach Sanders.  Yoder drove in Cureton with his double and he would come into score when Josh Genthe tripled off the right field wall.

Tusculum answered with a pair of runs in the fourth when Martin led off with a double and later scored on a Jarel McDade RBI single. McDade raced in from first base on Dupuis' RBI double down the left field line as TC trailed 3-2.  Finchum followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one out.  But Busby got a strikeout, hit Jake Wapinsky with a pitch and induced a ground out to leave the bases loaded.

The Crusaders added three runs in the sixth as Genthe and Kevin Elefante got aboard with back-to-back one-out walks.  Genthe moved to third base on Jakob Rolly's deep fly ball to the wall in center which was hauled in by TC center fielder Sam Urban.  Genthe scored on a wild pitch and Elefante moved onto second.  A walk to Nick Beinlich loaded the bases brining in TC reliever Andrew Willis.

Willis induced McGarry to hit an infield pop-up which would have ended the inning, but the ball was drop allowing two unearned runs to score as Belmont Abbey increased its lead to 6-2.

Tusculum scratched a run in the seventh as Martin was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and score on Montgomery's two-out single to make it a 6-3 game.  Willis worked around a one-out hit in the eighth as he got the team's third double-play of the contest.  Meanwhile, MacPhail struck out the side in the bottom of the inning as the Abbey took the three-run lead into the ninth.

Beinlich led off with a homer and Rosenbaum reached on an outfield error.  Cureton followed with a RBI triple and Yoder blasted a two-run homer to straight-away center as the Crusaders led 10-3.  TC added a run in the ninth as Montgomery drew a bases loaded walk, before MacPhail got a strikeout to end the game.

Martin's 2-for-3 effort extends his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games dating back to last year.

The two teams will wrap up the series with Friday's 2 p.m. doubleheader at Pioneer Park.