Brookshire Records Complete Game In 16-6 Win At Upstate
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Sophomore Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) recorded the first complete game of the season for Belmont (15-16, 5-8), leading the Bruins to a 16-6 victory over USC Upstate (11-21, 5-9) in game one of the weekend series.
Allowing four runs in the first inning, Belmont stayed in the game in the early going thanks to four home runs. Sophomore Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) connected on two in two straight at bats, making him the first Bruin to record multiple homers in a game this season. Akers led off the second inning with a solo shot and then led off the fourth inning with another solo home run. He is now tied with senior Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) for the team lead with five homers on the season.
Sophomore Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) hit a solo shot of his own immediately following Akers's second. The back to back homers tied the game at 4-4 heading into the fifth inning. The fifth was when senior Derek Hamblen (Plano, Texas) got in on the action, leading off the inning with a solo shot of his own, giving BU a 5-4 lead.
While the Belmont offense was mounting its comeback, Brookshire put together three straight scoreless innings, only allowing two hits during the second, third, and fourth innings. The lefty then gave up two runs in the fifth when Trey Richardson reached first base on an error by junior Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.), and Austin Liput drove him in on a homer to right field.
Upstate pitcher Scott DeCecco, who recently earned national honors from CollegeBaseball360.com for throwing seven shutout innings against #20 Stetson, was forced out of the game by the Bruins after three batters in the sixth. Belmont scored seven runs on 10 hits against DeCecco, as he fell to 3-4 with the loss.
After DeCecco left the game in the sixth, BU went on to score nine runs in the inning to take a commanding 14-6 lead. Hamblen drove in Mitchell on a single through the infield to start the scoring for Belmont. Woods then doubled down the left field line to score Hamblen and junior Dylain Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), who reached base on a walk.
That is when the wheels fell off for the Spartans. Three Upstate pitchers combined for two walks, two hit batsmen, and two wild pitches, before freshman Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.) reached base on an error by the short stop, scoring Akers on the play. Mitchell then put an end to the nine run scoring output, driving in Brody and Breen on a double to right center field.
Brookshire then put together another four scoreless innings, while Belmont tallied two more runs in the ninth to grab the 16-6 victory at USC Upstate. Brookshire went nine innings allowing six runs, five of which were earned. The sophomore struck out four while walking no batters to improve to 2-2 with the win.
The Bruins totaled 16 runs on 15 hits and one error. Akers homered twice, while Breen and Hamblen also tallied home runs in the game. Mitchell recorded two doubles in the contest, while Woods, senior Matt Zeblo (Raleigh, N.C.), senior Tim Egerton (Smyrna, Tenn.), and junior Phillip Parsley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) also doubled in the victory.
Upstate finished with six runs on nine hits and one error in the loss. Anthony Vacca and Tyler Miller led the Spartans with two hits, while Bobby Rednour was the only USC Upstate pitcher to not give up a run. The right-hander allowed one hit in one inning pitched.
The two teams will face each other again tomorrow in an afternoon doubleheader. The Bruins and the Spartans will begin the front end at 12:00 p.m. CT in Spartanburg.