BELMONT, N.C. – Despite having the lead most of the game, the Pfeiffer baseball team (8-7, 0-1 CC) dropped their first conference game to host Belmont Abbey (7-10, 1-0) on Friday by a score of 9-8. The Crusaders scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to steal the victory.
Pfeiffer struck first in their first at bat as the Falcons scored one run on two hits. John Gray led off the game with a double, followed by Cole McGraw being hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Tyler Summers then singled to right center, plating Pfeiffer’s first run.
Belmont Abbey answered back as Anthony Dimino hit a leadoff homerun in the bottom half of the inning.
Pfeiffer then answered back in the top of the second inning as Dalton Lindley led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Lindley found himself on third with two outs. Gray reached base on a fielding error, allowing the go-ahead run to cross the plate and Gray to advance to third on the throwing error. The inning was not over as McGraw singled to plate Gray giving the Falcons the early 3-1 lead.
Pfeiffer scored five more unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth inning. In the top of the fourth, two Pfeiffer runs crossed the plate on two hits and two errors.
The top of the fifth resulted in three runs on three hits and one error. The only earned run of the inning came off of Lindley’s triple that plated Anthony Allende.
The game seemed to be all Pfeiffer’s, until Belmont Abbey came alive in the closing three innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders struck for three runs off of a three-run homerun by Kennan Stanley to cut into the deficit to 8-4.
The game still seemed to be out of hand as the Falcons headed into the bottom of the ninth inning with a four run lead. However, Belmont Abbey scored five runs, all with two outs, to win the game in their last at bat.
Reliever Hunter Jobe gave up a single and then hit the next batter to start the ninth. He recovered to induce two fly outs, the second driving in a runner from third, as the game seemed to be in hand. With a man on first and two outs, the Crusaders began the late rally. A hit by pitch and three straight singles ended Jobe’s night as the Crusaders drew even.
Closer Dylan Norris was called on with runners on first and second to try to get out of the inning. However, Norris walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, and then hit his second batter, plating the winning run.
Ethan Greene received the call on the mound as he pitched seven innings and gave up four earned runs and tallied eight strikeouts. This was Greene’s second longest outing of the season.
Jobe picked up his first loss as he falls to 3-1 on the young campaign.
Pfeiffer produced 11 hits in the game, led by a three-hit performance from Lindley. Gray, Allende and McGraw each added two hits and McGraw drove in three runs.
Pfeiffer is set to return to the field tomorrow for a doubleheader against Belmont Abbey. The first game is set to start at noon, with the second game following shortly after.