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Mason Maxwell
Mason Maxwell went a combined four-for-eight at the plate with four runs scored and an RBI.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Drops Season Opener

Belmont Abbey used a four-run ninth inning to put away Lenoir-Rhyne, 7-2, in the season opener for both sides.

While starting pitcher Joshua Lanham had an overall strong outing, the Bears offense never seemed to get going, especially facing an early 1-0 deficit following a home run by Ben Ferguson. After a stellar pitcher’s duel between Lanham and Belmont Abbey’s Alex Sniffen, the score remained the same all the way up until the seventh inning.

Following a series of Lenoir-Rhyne mistakes in the top of the seventh inning, the Crusaders started to gain a little distance from the Bears as they took a 3-0 edge into the seventh inning stretch. Even though the Bears were able to salvage a run in the bottom half of the seventh inning, Belmont Abbey put the game to rest with its best inning of the night, a five-hit, four-run ninth frame.

In his Lenoir-Rhyne debut, Mason Maxwell was the only Bear to record multiple hits with a 2-3 night, which included a fifth-inning double and a seventh-inning single.

Both offenses seemed frozen out on Durham Field with a combined 29 strikeouts, the Crusaders getting punched out 15 times compared to the Bears being shown the door 14 times.

Lenoir-Rhyne used five pitchers with Lanham taking much of the load with 6.0 innings of work, with Cole Bramhall (0.1 IP), Braden Houston (1.2 IP), Spencer Floyd (0.2 IP), and Andy Cook (0.1 IP) coming out of the bullpen.

Belmont Abbey had much more success at allocating extra-base hits with four to their name while the Bears only got one with Maxwell’s double.

With the Belmont Abbey victory, it snaps their four-game losing streak to Lenoir-Rhyne. With the defeat, it’s the first time the Bears have lost on opening day since Feb. 1, 2019, when they were defeated by Rollins University, 5-0.

In addition to their first opening day loss since 2019, it’s the first time they dropped the opening day matchup at home since Feb. 1, 2014, when they lost to North Greenville, 8-5.

With the victory, Belmont Abbey grabs their first win in Hickory, N.C. since Feb. 27, 2018, but still have a losing record of 16-18 against Lenoir-Rhyne in Durham Field

Ironic how it is, Lenoir-Rhyne will play Belmont Abbey one more time in 2023 – the regular season finale – in Belmont, N.C. on April 24th