NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Many stated that the Belmont baseball team's strength coming into the 2012 season was pitching. That proved to be true on opening day as junior Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and freshman Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.) combined for 13 strikeouts in nine innings of shutout baseball, leading the Bruins (1-0) over Evansville (0-1) on Friday night.
"Our pitching today didn't surprise me at all," Head Coach Dave Jarvis said after the game. "I expected Chase to pitch a tremendous start, which he did. Also, Scott did for us today what he's done for the past six or seven months. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary from him. I was very pleased with our pitching staff today."
Brookshire went five innings to start the contest, striking out five while walking only two and allowing a pair of hits to the Purple Aces. The junior left-hander received a no decision on the day, as Belmont did not score until the sixth inning.
Moses came on in relief for the final four innings of action, picking up the win for BU. The freshman right-hander struck out eight batters while walking one and allowing only a single hit to the Purple Aces. Moses's eight strikeouts were one off of the single game best by a Bruin last season, and the combine 13 from Moses and Brookshire were one off Belmont's team best of 14 last year.
It took until the sixth inning before Belmont got on the scoreboard. Senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) walked to lead off the frame, reached second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), and then scored on a single by sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.) through the right side of the infield.
Mitchell then led the eighth inning off with a triple far down the right field line. It was again Craig with the sacrifice, this time with a long fly ball to right field, scoring Mitchell on the play. The 2-0 lead was all the Bruins needed as Moses sat the Purple Aces down in order in the top of the ninth.
"Our timely hitting was very apt," Jarvis continued. "It was a great job by Zac Mitchell of turning our lineup over from that nine spot, we got a great two out hit by Greg Brody to break the ice for us, and of course the sacrifice fly by Dylan Craig really helped us out."
Belmont totaled two runs on three hits and one error in the victory. Moses picked up the win in his first collegiate appearance, while Mitchell led the Bruins at the plate with the triple and two runs scored.
Evansville was held scoreless, but recorded three hits and no errors. Sophomore Cole Isom pitched six innings, allowing only one run on one hit, but was credited with the loss. Junior Chris Pearson led the Purple Aces at the plate with two hits.
Belmont will return to action on Saturday, hosting Kansas at 2:00 p.m. at Rose Park in Nashville. Evansville will drive down the road to take on Lipscomb on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.