Gaston & Catawba

Abbey loses player to pros

When a college athlete excels at a sport, the coach knows that athlete could leave early to turn professional.

Usually, that happens at a big school such as North Carolina or Duke. But Belmont Abbey baseball coach Kermit Smith's program is not immune.

Smith's star second baseman Alex Castellanos, a two-time Conference Carolinas first-team selection who helped lead the Crusaders to their first NCAA Division II tournament berth since 2001, was drafted in the 10th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He is the first Crusader drafted since Henry Holmes was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 1972 draft.

“Alex has worked long and hard to make this happen, and it's wonderful for him and his family,” Smith said. “It (Alex going to the pros) can do nothing but help our program; it gives us some notoriety around the country added to the season we just had.”

Castellanos signed and reported to the Cardinals' rookie-league affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn.

Through July 15, he had appeared in 21 of the team's 26 games, batting .280 with four home runs, 18 runs batted in, six doubles and 16 runs.

He was leading the Cardinals in RBIs and triples through July 15 and was tied for the team lead in home runs and runs scored.


Former Belmont Abbey men's basketball coach and athletic director Kevin Eastman earned an NBA championship ring last month. Eastman is an assistant coach on Doc Rivers' staff with the Boston Celtics, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers to win the Larry O'Brien trophy, the 17 {+t}{+h} in franchise history.

Eastman was the men's basketball coach and athletic director at the Abbey from 1986 to 1989.

The Stephen Miss Basketball Academy at Belmont Abbey begins this month.

The camp at the Wheeler Center is from July 28 to Aug. 1. Activities are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Cost for the camp is $175. Interested parents should call 704-825-6800 for registration or with questions.

Men's Soccer

The Crusaders soccer program enters the 2008 season with a special anniversary. This will be the Abbey's 50 {+t}{+h} year playing collegiate soccer.

Coach Stuart Brown's team will open the regular season at Brevard Aug. 29, with the home opener Sept. 10 against Catawba. The Crusaders (13-9-1 in 2007) are 13 wins away from 500 as a program. Belmont Abbey's career record stands at 487-332-45.