04/03/11 — MOC, Belmont Abbey split Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader

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MOC, Belmont Abbey split Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on April 3, 2011 1:51 AM

BELMONT -- Mount Olive College pitcher Carter Capps remained perfect on the hill this season, but No. 21-ranked Belmont Abbey earned a split against the nation's No. 1-ranked Division II baseball team on Saturday afternoon.

The Trojans claimed the opener, 9-5.

Chris Vazquez belted two seventh-inning home runs, including a walk-off grand slam, as the Crusaders claimed the nightcap, 10-6.

The teams conclude their three-game, Conference Carolinas series today. First pitch is 1 p.m.

Two of the league's top two pitchers, each a conference player-of-the-week award winner, squared off in game one. Capps (7-0) yielded five runs on seven hits and logged nine strikeouts in an eight-inning stint. Meanwhile, the Crusaders' Steven Thiele (6-1) surrendered six runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Mount Olive (28-4 overall, 14-2 CC) jumped ahead 3-0 during their first at-bat on a three-run homer by Jacob Rogers. The Crusaders got one back in the bottom of the inning when Vazquez drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Trojans extended their to 4-1 in the third on a lead-off homer by Jason Simone. Belmont Abbey (28-10, 12-3) cut the deficit to 4-3 on Tim Dye's two-run homer to center field.

After Mount Olive moved its cushion back to two runs in the fifth inning on Mike Knox's solo home run, his 15th of the season, the Abbey wasted no time answering. Vazquez's RBI sacrifice fly and Dye's RBI single knotted the contest at 5-5.

The Trojans scored two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings to put the Crusaders away.

In the seven-inning nightcap, the Trojans built a 6-2 lead through 6 1/2 innings. However, the Crusaders homered three times in their final at-bat. Vasquez produced five of the eight runs.

Vasquez led off the inning with a solo shot to trim the deficit to 6-3. After a groundout, Kyle Buchanan singled to center, followed by an infield single from Vazquez. After a pitching change, Dye tied the game at six with a towering blast to left center.

One out later, Josh Frazier kept the inning alive with a single to center. Caleb Shore then rolled a grounder to short, but the ball was misplayed for an error, which allowed Frazier to move to third. With Roberto Sanchez at the plate, Shore stole second. Sanchez worked the count to 2-0 before the last two pitches were intentionally wide.

A pitching change followed and Vasquez ended the game with a two out grand slam to right.

Jordan Cudney earned the win in three innings of relief. He allowed three runs on four hits in three innings. MOC's Sheldon Johnson was charged with the loss. He gave up four runs on two hits in one-third of an inning.

(Editor's note: Information for this story obtained from the Belmont Abbey College Web site due to press constraints).