NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (19-17, 8-9) defeated ETSU (22-11, 11-7) in both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Shelby Park. Bruin Head Coach Dave Jarvis recorded the 700th victory of his career in the second win, improving to 700-510-1 in over 22 years of college coaching.
BU defeated the Buccaneers 11-1 in the front end of Saturday's doubleheader and topped ETSU by a score of 2-0 in game two. With the latter victory, Belmont improved to 19-17 on the year, giving Jarvis 700 career wins. "I am truly blessed," Jarvis said. "All that means is that I've been around long enough, and have been blessed with enough talented kids to help me reach such a milestone. The team getting these two big Atlantic Sun Conference wins today is a much more important stat."
Big wins they were, as ETSU came into today's doubleheader 22-9 and tied for second in the league standings. Belmont was propelled by two outstanding pitching performances by sophomore Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and junior Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.).
Brookshire went the first six innings in game one, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out six Buccaneer batters. The left-hander improved to 3-2 on the season with the win, receiving help from a plethora of Bruin runs.
Belmont put up four runs in the first inning, three in the sixth and four in the bottom of the seventh to end the game on the Atlantic Sun's Doubleheader 10 Run Rule. Senior Derek Hamblen's (Plano, Texas) two RBI triple in the seventh scored juniors Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) to make it 11-1.
Craig, who reached on an ETSU error earlier in the inning, led Belmont with a three for five performance in game one. His triple to lead off the first inning got the Bruin offense started in game one. A pair of BU three-run home runs did not hurt the cause. The first was courtesy of senior Tim Egerton (Smyrna, Tenn.), who recorded his fifth of the season in the first inning. Senior Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) then tallied his team-leading sixth of the season in the sixth inning.
The ball was handed to Hamann for the second game of the day, and he definitely delivered. The right-hander improved to 4-1 on the year after recording the first complete game of his career. He shut the Buccaneers out, allowing only three hits and recording a career best nine strikeouts. That final effort tied Brookshire for the most strikeouts by a Bruin in 2011, who tallied nine against Kennesaw State on March 11th.
Hamann didn't need much help to lead Belmont to a victory in game two, but he received some early courtesy of Hamblen's solo shot to left field in the first inning. That 1-0 lead proved to be all that Hamann needed, but the Bruins added one insurance run in the fifth when Craig hit a sacrifice fly that scored sophomore Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.).
Breen had reached earlier in the inning on an infield single. The BU shortstop led the team at the plate in game two, going three for three with a double. Senior Matt Zeblo (Raleigh, N.C.) added two hits for the Bruins in the victory.
ETSU was led by Dylan Pratt, who tallied three hits during the day's two contests. Game Two starter Derek Bushey also put forth a great performance, allowing only two runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking no batters.
Belmont and the Buccaneers will play once more this weekend, finishing the series on Sunday. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Shelby Park in Nashville.
Dave Jarvis Quotes
On the two wins:
"Because of the type of play we've had in conference action before today, this is the type of effort that it's going to take to get back in the mix. This was a great doubleheader win for us today. By extending our lead in that first game, and being able to take advantage of the 10 Run Rule, it benefited us a great deal. It saved our bullpen for tomorrow."
On the Belmont pitching:
"The pitching performance that was given to us in the first game by Chase Brookshire, only giving up one run, and then the complete game shutout by Matt Hamann in the second, there's nothing more you can say about it. Those were just outstanding performances by both of those guys."
On Game One offense:
"In the first game we put together a lot of good things, of course any time you mix in a couple of three run home runs it's going to be a positive. Dylain Craig also gave us a great performance in the lead off spot, going three for five at the plate."
On Game Two offense:
"In the second game we had a couple of key hits and were able to grind out that second run, but I was slightly disappointed that we had several runners in scoring position and were not able to bring them in with a clutch hit."
On his meeting with Hamann in the ninth:
"I just wanted to go out and check on Matt [Hamann]. He was a little bit over 100 pitches at that point and I just wanted to make sure that he was still in a good place, and that he wasn't feeling like he was worn down. It does a couple of things. It gives him a chance to reset mentally, and he can let me know if he still wants to be out there. He definitely wanted to be there. [Matt] Zeblo definitely wanted him out there, and had a lot of confidence in him at that point. The other thing it does is it gives him a little breather."