by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College baseball team's recent struggles continued on Saturday as the team was swept in a weekend doubleheader by the Crusaders of Belmont Abbey College, 17-13 and 12-6, at Nixon Field.
The Bulldogs fell to 14-10 overall with a 1-8 record in Conference Carolinas play as the Crusaders' record moved to 14-11 with a 7-5 mark in the league.
Game One: Belmont Abbey 17, Barton 13 (Seven inn.)
The first game of the afternoon saw Belmont Abbey's Nick Beinlich homer on the first pitch, but Barton responded with a run of his own in the first inning before the Crusaders struck for four runs in the third to build a 5-1 lead.
After two more runs came across for Belmont Abbey in the top of the fourth, Barton rallied for five runs on five hits and a walk in the bottom half.
Senior Jacob Willis doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single by freshman Chase Riker. Both runners came around to score on an RBI double from sophomore Troy Maslowski, as senior Tyler Garrett had an RBI double of his own to bring Maslowski across the plate.
Fellow senior Calvin Hawke concluded the scoring in the inning for Barton with a stand-up RBI triple to score the final two runs of the frame for Barton and cut the Abbey lead to 7-6.
Belmont Abbey's Kevin Elefante led off the fifth with a home run to put his team ahead by two runs, but the Bulldogs rallied once again, scoring six runs in the bottom half to take a 12-8 lead.
Maslowski drove in a run with an RBI single before junior Hunter Pearre gave Barton the lead with an RBI single up the middle that scored two.
The Crusaders began the top of the sixth with a single followed by Beinlich's second home run of the game, a two-run shot to center field.
Two pitching changes, two walks and a hit batter set up Elefante to blast hit second long ball of the game, a three-run home run, that gave his team a 13-12 lead.
Abbey's Joshua Genthe also homered in the inning to score two, while Beinlich hit his second two-run homer of the inning and third of the game to put the Crusaders ahead 17-12.
Senior Shawn Montren had an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to score Barton's final run as BAC went down in order in the seventh.
The Bulldogs were able to get runners on second and third with one out in the bottom half of the seventh, but Belmont Abbey reliever Sam Lunchansky came on in relief to get back-to-back ground outs to end the game.
Belmont Abbey totaled five home runs in the game, including three from Beinlich and two from Elefante, as a part of nine total extra base hits.
Barton senior Kerry Walker began the game on the mound and was chased after allowing seven runs (six earned) on just five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 inning of work.
Freshman Landry Moore (0-2) took the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) on two home runs in just 1/3 of an inning of relief. Senior Justin Evans and sophomore Ryan Pifer closed out the final 1.1 innings out of the pen.
The Bulldogs had seven extra base hits in the game and six different players had two hits each, including Hawke who was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI.
Garrett was also 2-for-4 with a double, two runs score and an RBI, while Maslowski finished 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and three RBI. Pearre and sophomore Gatlin Pate each drove in two runs for Barton.
Game Two: Belmont Abbey 12, Barton 6 (Seven inn.)
Belmont Abbey carried its momentum over into the series finale, scoring five runs in the opening four innings of play. The Crusaders added another run in the sixth and six more in the seventh, including Beinlich's fourth home run of the day, to build a 12-0 over Barton.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bulldog offense, which had just two hits in the first six innings of play came to life.
After a strikeout to begin the inning, Pate and freshman Chase Riker had back-to-back singles to put runners on base. Maslowski then drew a walk to load the bases before Pate scored from third on a wild pitch. Montren drew the inning's second walk to load the bases once again as another run scored when Garrett was hit by a pitch.
Pearre drew the team's third walk of the inning to score Barton's third run before Belmont Abbey made a call to the bullpen.
A run scored for Barton on a fielder's choice before Hawke drove in the final two runs with an RBI single through the left side as the inning ended on a swinging strikeout. The game was called after seven innings of play due to darkness.
Sophomore Dylan Ward (3-2) struggled for the second straight outing, allowing eight runs (five earned) on 14 hits with just two strikeouts over 6.2 innings. Mims recorded the final out for Barton, but gave up four runs on two hits, including a three-run home run, with a walk.
Riker led the BC offense in game two with a 2-for-3 performance, while Hawke totaled two RBI in the loss.
Barton will travel to Hartsville, S.C. for its next contest, a non-conference rematch with Coker College on Tuesday, March 14 at 3 p.m.