May 25, 2009

Courtesy of Belmont Abbey Athletics

Belmont Abbey catcher Spencer Sobol singled home Justin Vasquez with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with no outs as the Crusaders eliminated Grand Valley State 5-4 this afternoon at the College World Series in Cary, North Carolina. The Abbey moves to 39-25, while the Lakers end their season with a record of 45-16-1. The Abbey will face the loser of the Mesa State/Empora State game Wednesday night at 7:00.

The Abbey, the home team, led the Lakers 4-0 heading into the top of the ninth but the Lakers plated four in the top of the frame to move the game to the bottom of the ninth. Vasquez led off the bottom of the inning with a single and moved to second when Daniel Kassouf was intentionally walked. Justin Baxley, pinch hitting for Danny Brion, dropped an opposite field bloop single to left to load the bases for Sobol, who ripped a single through the hole in the left side for the winning run.

Michael Raymond matched his career high with 13 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings, scattering five hits and walking two. Zach Horne earned the win after retiring two batters, allowing two hits. David Bowman took the loss after allowing the winning run to score in a third of an inning.

Belmont Abbey opened the scoring in the third as Roland Rodriguez led off with a double to left center, moved to third on a sacrifce bunt, and scored on a single by Justin Vasquez.

The lead grew to 3-0 two innings later as Vasquez was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single to left by Kassouf, and scored on a Lakers fielding error off the bat of Sobol.

The Crusaders doubled the lead in the eighth thanks to some Grand Valley State errors, as Sobol singled to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carlos Vasquez, and to third on a groundout by Josh Frazier. Rodriguez was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Patrick Atwell, who laid down a squeeze play, allowing Sobol to score. The throw on the bunt sailed into rightfield, allowing Rodriquez to come all the way around to score and push the lead to 4-0.

Grand Valley State tied the game at four in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run homer by Ben Knuth, and getting two more on a pair of RBI singles, but the Abbey ended the game in the bottom of the inning to advance.

The Abbey finished with nine hits as Sobol and Justin Vasquez led the way with two each. Vasquez and Rodriguez scored two runs each.