Gaining an early 9-0 lead, the Lions dominated the first three innings of the contest. Emmanuel starting pitcher Bryson Cornett didn't take much time at all to settle into the game. After hitting the second batter of the game, Cornett would go on to retire eight of the next nine hitters that he would face. Meanwhile, offensively the Lions were close to unstoppable. After a scoreless first inning in which Emmanuel was able to load the bases and force Belmont Abbey starter Blake Waldren to throw 24 pitches, the Lions scored nine runs on nine hits in the second and third innings. All nine players in Emmanuel's lineup reached based in the second and third innings, and seven different players crossed home in the two innings.
Belmont Abbey would show some fight in the next three innings, gaining four unanswered runs in the three inning span. The Crusaders were able to scrape a run across in the fourth following a leadoff walk to Nick Beinlich. Beinlich scored later in the inning on a RBI groundout by Jakob Rolly. The Crusaders added three more on in the sixth inning. Once again, Beinlich would get things going for Belmont Abbey after hitting a solo shot over the centerfield wall to start the inning. The next three hitters reached base for the Crusaders before the Lions relief pitcher Zach Wells came into the game and immediately forced a double play ball to Tim Manning, allowing Emmanuel to limit the damage to just three runs that inning.
After the sixth, things became very interesting for both teams. The Crusaders scored in the top of the seventh on an RBI ground ball again by Rolly. Emmanuel quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh, however, after sophomore Steven Skeggs hit a laser off the very top of the centerfield wall. Belmont Abbey would bounce back by adding five in the top of the eighth after a grand slam home run over the centerfield wall to tie the game up at 10-10. Despite the momentum seemingly having swung heavily in Belmont Abbey's favor, Emmanuel proved resilient by adding three more runs in the bottom of the eighth. The breakthrough inning started off with a leadoff single by Jacob Teston. Then after a Hanon Price strikeout, Philip Swindell and Dallas Richards both reached base, loading the bases up for sophomore Brock Baughcum. After a passed ball made the game 11-10, Baughcum delivered for the Lions with a two RBI line drive single to right field. Sophomore Alex Snider pitched the top of the ninth for Emmanuel, striking out Beinlich to end the game.
Alex Snider received the win pitching 1.1 innings giving up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.
Tim Manning went 3-5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Chaise Parker went 2-3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.
The Lions will finish the series with Belmont Abbey on Saturday with a doubleheader. Game two on Saturday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.