by Doug Page
BELMONT, N.C. – A seven-run bottom of the first inning propelled the nationally-ranked No. 14 Belmont Abbey College Crusaders to a 19-3 win against the Barton College Bulldogs on Friday night in Conference Carolinas baseball action.
Barton (11-31, 3-15) received a solo home run from junior Troy Maslowski and tallied six hits in the contest against the Crusaders. Belmont Abbey (32-8, 15-3) scored early and often en route to notching three home runs in the contest to go along with a strong outing from starter Cameron Busby.
Maslowski finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate with his second home of the season to go along with two runs batted in and one run scored. Freshman Colby Warren registered a pair of hits in three trips to the plate for the Bulldogs, while freshman Alec Seaton went 2-for-3 with one RBI after replacing freshman Garrett Giddens. Sophomore Chase Riker recorded the other hit for Barton, finishing 1-for-4 at the plate.
Nick Beinlich, Thomas Yoder, and Kevin Elefante each recorded a home run in the contest for the Crusaders. Beinlich went 3-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and four runs scored, while Yoder finished 2-for-3 at the dish with three RBI and three runs scored. Elefante delivered just one hit for Belmont Abbey but his grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning extended the BAC lead to 17-2.
The Crusaders quickly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against the Bulldogs and junior starter Dylan Ward. Luke Cureton would be hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Matt McGarry. Yoder followed by working a walk to push across the second run of the frame. AJ Hendricks and McGarry highlighted the inning for the Crusaders with a pair of run-scoring hits that upped the BAC lead to 7-0.
Barton answered against Busby and the Crusaders in the top of the second inning by delivering his second home run of the season to left field. Leading 8-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, the Crusaders plated four more runs against Ward and the Bulldogs. Yoder capped the scoring in the frame with a two-run home run to left field.
Maslowski would produce the second run of the game for BC with an RBI fielder's choice against Busby in the top of the sixth inning to score freshman Mason Cooper. Belmont Abbey countered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Elefante homered off BC junior reliever Clint Marsh to make it 17-2. The Crusaders continued their scoring by plating a run in each of the seventh and eighth innings.
Working against Belmont Abbey reliever Joe Cooney in the top of the ninth inning, BC pieced together a pair of hits to plate its third run of the contest. Seaton delivered a single up the middle to score sophomore Hayden Amodeo and advance Riker to third base.
Ward (1-6) was handed with the loss for Barton after exiting the game to start the fifth inning. Ward surrendered 12 runs on six hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Marsh and freshman Jabe Montgomery each worked a pair of innings out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs. Busby (8-3) scattered four hits over seven innings of work in earning the win for Belmont Abbey. Busby allowed just two runs (one earned) while striking out 12 batters on the night.
The Bulldogs wrap up their series with the Crusaders beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the first of two games to be played.