CARY, N.C.—And five games into the Division II World Series, the walk-off finally shows up!
Belmont Abbey continued its bracket busting by knocking off Grand Valley State in the first elimination game of the series, 5-4. The Crusaders gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning as Grand Valley tied the game, but they answered with three hits of their own in the bottom of the ninth, culminating with Spencer Sobol’s walk-off single through the left side of the infield.
Belmont Abbey is starting to get a reputation for clutch performances with wins like this. The Crusaders won the Aiken regional as the No. 6 seed, beating host South Carolina-Aiken at home—twice.
In Monday’s game, Grand Valley State was the higher seed, with a better team ERA and a better team batting average.
But none of that mattered when Belmont Abbey pitcher Michael Raymond threw eight innings of shutout baseball, and struck out 13 batters while walking just two.
Belmont Abbey will now have another elimination game, and a possible rematch against its opening-round opponent, Mesa State, should Mesa State lose in the second game.