Tusculum baseball drops pair at Belmont Abbey

Tusculum baseball drops pair at Belmont Abbey

BELMONT, N.C. --- Sam Luchansky pitched a two-hit shutout in game one and Jakob Rolly hit a grand slam and a three-run double in game two as Belmont Abbey swept a non-conference baseball doubleheader over visiting Tusculum Saturday afternoon at Abbey Yard.

The No. 36 Crusaders (4-3) complete the three-game weekend sweep over the Pioneers (1-6) who drop their sixth consecutive game.  Tusculum will travel to Young Harris on Tuesday to wrap up its season-opening eight-game road trip.  TU will host Notre Dame (Ohio) next weekend at Pioneer Park for a four-game series.

Game 1: No. 36 Belmont Abbey 6, Tusculum 0

Luchansky pitched a seven-inning complete game shutout in Saturday's opener as he held the Pioneers to a pair of singles from Jaden Steagall as Belmont Abbey prevailed 6-0.

Luchansky recorded four strikeouts and walked two batters in his 91-pitch performance.  The Crusaders used two innings in the win, scoring two times in the third inning and four more in the sixth.

Ben Sneider led the way going 2-for-4 with two RBI as Belmont Abbey finished the game with seven totals hits.

TU starter Harbor Jefferson (0-1) suffered the loss as he went four innings, allowed five hits, two runs, four walks and three strikeouts.

Game 2: No. 36 Belmont Abbey 11, Tusculum 6

Belmont Abbey used back-to-back four-run innings in the third and fourth frames, powered by Rolly's seven RBI to spark an 11-6 win over Tusculum.

Tusculum took its only lead of the game in the top of the second when Jarel McDade belted a two-out single to score Nate Montgomery as TU led 1-0.

But in the bottom of the third inning, the first three Crusaders reached base and Rolly took care of the rest with his grand slam to left field and a 4-1 lead.  Belmont Abbey tacked on four more in the fourth including Rolly's three-run double to clear the bases as the Crusaders led 8-1.

Tusculum fought back with three runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run single off the back of Bryson Ford as the Pioneers trailed 8-4.

Belmont Abbey plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth before Tusculum answered with two runs in the seventh to provide the final margin.

Crusaders' starter Sam High picked up the victory to go to 1-0 as he went five innings, allowed four runs on four hits, zero walks and eight strikeouts.  TU starter Zach Sanders was charged with the loss as he went 3.1 innings, allowed six runs on four hits, four walks and four strikeouts.

Tusculum relievers Alec Lay and Pedro Rodriguez blanked the Crusaders for the final 2.2 innings as each allowed one hit and one walk apiece.

TU's Zack Finchum went 2-for-4 with a RBI as the Pioneers recorded a season-high four stolen bases.