NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (5-8, 1-2) defeated Middle Tennessee (2-10, 0-0) at home on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 11-3. It was the largest margin of victory for the Bruins on the season thanks in part to senior Tim Egerton (Smyrna, Tenn.) who went three for four with three doubles on the day.
The Bruin offense came alive as Belmont recorded both the most runs and hits thus far this season, tallying 11 and 12, respectively. BU got things started in the third inning putting up five. The first three batters of the inning were walked, and sophomore Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) scored on a wild pitch, before MTSU recorded its first out.
Junior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) was then intentionally walked, which loaded the bases for senior Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Woods, who finished the game with one hit, one run scored and two RBI, knocked in a run as he reached on a fielder's choice. Senior Matt Zeblo (Raleigh, N.C.) and Egerton then recorded back to back doubles to left field scoring three more runs and giving Belmont the early 5-0 lead.
After starting pitcher Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.) left after five innings for the Bruins, the Blue Raiders got on the board with two runs in the sixth. Fanchier gave up no runs on seven hits, while striking out three in five innings pitched.
"A big key to our success was the start that Garrett Fanchier gave us," Head Coach David Jarvis said. "His ability to go out there and give our offense some time to get started was crucial. The fact that he gave us five shutout innings is huge, and he did it facing some pretty adverse weather conditions."
Belmont came back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, making it 9-2. Turner led off with a walk, before sophomore Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) and junior Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) recorded back to back bunt singles to load the bases. Senior Derek Hamblen (Plano, Texas) reached on an error and Craig hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the first two runs of the inning. Woods then singled to center, scoring Mitchell, before Zeblo hit another sacrifice fly to score Hamblen.
"It was good to get our offense going today. This was our best offensive output of the year thus far," Head Coach David Jarvis said. "Tim Egerton played a very big part of that, while Derek [Hamblen] and Zac [Mitchell] were integral in setting the table for the rest of the lineup. And then with Nate [Woods] and [Matt] Zeblo coming up with some big RBI for us, all of those things pieced together gave us a good win against a very good program in Middle Tennessee."
The 9-2 lead was enough for Belmont as junior Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) came on in relief to pitch four full innings, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out two. Hamann earned his first save of the season in the appearance and helped the Bruins hold on for the 11-3 victory.
Belmont finished with 11 runs on 12 hits and one error, while Middle Tennessee totaled three runs on 12 hits and three errors. Fanchier improved to 1-1 with the win, while MTSU's Eric Gilley falls to 0-1 with the loss.
The Bruins will head to Murray State for another non-conference tilt tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9 for a 2:00 p.m. contest with the Thoroughbreds.