NEWBERRY - Belmont Abbey plated a pair of runs in the second inning and never looked back in a 13-1 win over Newberry to open the 2018 season.
Newberry (0-1) right fielder Colin Santiago opened his season with the first three-hit performance of his career, going 3-for-4 with the Wolves' lone RBI. Shortstop Colin Allman and designated hitter Ben Herring each collected a pair of hits to lead Newberry to an 11-hit performance on the evening.
But the Wolves could not solve Belmont Abbey's (1-0) Cameron Busby, who scattered eight hits across six scoreless innings, and scored a run but could get no closer against the bullpen tandem of Alex Nodarse and Wes Wood. The trio of Crusaders' pitchers stranded 14 runners and limited Newberry to a 4-for-20 mark with runners on base.
Belmont Abbey scored a pair of runs in the second inning, added two more in the third, and extended the lead to 7-0 in the fourth, with the biggest blow coming on a two-run shot to center by first baseman Jakob Rolly. The Crusaders added insurance runs in the fifth, sixth, and eighth frames to cruise to the victory.
Newberry's best chance at a rally was snuffed out in the bottom of the second with the Wolves trailing 2-0. The bases were clear following a single and a double play, but Tyler White began a string of three consecutive hits with a single into left field. Chase Barbary and Santiago followed with an infield single and a bunt single, respectively, to load the bases for freshman Dalton Lansdowne. The Lexington native worked a full count after finding himself in an 0-2 hole, but swung through an offering from Busby to end the threat.
The Wolves were unable to push another runner into scoring position until the eighth, when a leadoff double, a hit batsman, and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Santiago. He rolled the first pitch he saw through the left side to plate Derek Olenchuck. But the Crusaders' pitchers stranded two runners in the eighth and three in the ninth to keep Newberry at bay.
The teams will continue their season series against Belmont Abbey tomorrow with a doubleheader at Abbey Yard in Belmont, N.C. First pitch of the twinbill is set for 1:00 p.m.