NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (2-1) scored four runs in the fifth inning en route to a 5-4 victory over Saint Louis (1-3) on Sunday afternoon at Rose Park. Sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.) went two-for-four with an RBI to lead the Bruins at the plate.
Brody opened up the scoring for Belmont with a single to left field that drove in senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) from second base. Craig walked to lead off the inning, and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.).
Freshman catcher Jamie Ritchie (Buford, Ga.) recorded the first collegiate hit of his career to lead off the four-run fifth. He singled to left and then reached third after a Mitchell walk and an error on the Saint Louis short stop. Ritchie started the Bruin scoring in the frame when junior Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) drove him in on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Billiken misplays continued as Brody singled to third base, but then advanced to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Mitchell made it to third on the play, and then both base runners scored on a single up the middle by junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.).
Senior Phillip Parsley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) then drove Turner home with a double down the left field line. "Drew Turner came up with another big hit for us today," Head Coach Dave Jarvis said following the game. "And I was also really proud of Phillip Parsley of stepping up with an RBI double, which ended up being the winning run for us."
Parsley's RBI did end up being the winning run, as Saint Louis scattered four runs from the third to the eighth inning. The Billikens scored two in the third to take a one run lead over the Bruins, but one in the sixth and one more in the eighth left SLU one short of tying the game on Sunday.
Five Belmont pitchers saw action this afternoon, beginning with sophomore James Buckelew (Lawrenceville, Ga.). The left-hander picked up the win after allowing only one earned run on six hits and no walks in 5.0 innings pitched.
Freshman Austin Coley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) recorded a solid outing out of the bullpen, allowing no hits, no walks, and striking out one batter during the sixth and seventh innings. Junior Jessie Snodgrass (Lebanon, Tenn.) and freshman Matthew Kinney (Alpharetta, Ga.) combined to pitch the eighth inning, with the former allowing the lone run.
Senior Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.) came in to close the game for the second straight day, this time picking up the save in the Belmont victory over Saint Louis. Pitching in weekday starter and weekend setup roles last year, this marked Fanchier's first career save. He allowed no hits for the second straight appearance.
"I think you have to point directly to our pitching staff," Jarvis said of the team's success during opening weekend. "Both our starters and our bullpen deserve so much credit for us coming out of here with two out of three wins against good competition."
The Bruins finished with five runs on six hits and one error. Buckelew picked up the win, while Fanchier earned the save. Saint Louis totaled four runs on nine hits and three errors. Clay Smith falls to 0-1 on the season after allowing five runs on four hits for the loss.
Belmont will next host Oregon on Thursday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m. The Bruins will then play Arkansas- Little Rock, Bradley, and Arkansas- Little Rock on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. All contests next weekend will be played at Belmont's home stadium, Rose Park.