Baseball Beats 'Breds 3-2 In 10 Innings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (8-5) won the sixth game of its last seven contests, topping Murray State (8-5) by a score of 3-2 in 10 innings on Wednesday night. Junior Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) hit an RBI double to left center field to win the game with a walk-off at Rose Park.
The Bruins recorded only three hits in the entire game heading into the bottom of the 10th inning, and after a fly out and a ground out to start the frame, BU had not yet recorded a base runner against Murray State reliever Alex Gordon in 3.2 innings of action.
Senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.), who was riding a seven-game hitting streak but had yet to record one on Wednesday, came to the plate with two outs. The second baseman, now batting .475 for the season, singled to center field to get Belmont going. Breen, who was also hitless on the night at the time, then came up and hit a shot to the base of the left-center field wall to drive in Mitchell and win the game for the Bruins.
"When Jared has good strike zone discipline, he's as good of a hitter as we could ask for under those circumstances," Head Coach Dave Jarvis said about the Belmont short stop. "When he hit the ball I had a really good feeling that it was going to get down in that gap, and I knew Zac had the speed to score in that situation."
Belmont, who again had only tallied three hits in regulation, relied heavily on a strong group effort on the mound Wednesday evening. Freshman Dan Ludwig (Naperville, Ill.) started his second game on the mound, providing a solid five innings for the Bruins. The left-hander allowed only one run on three hits while striking out four Thoroughbreds.
Sophomore Blake Harvey (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and junior Jessie Snodgrass (Lebanon, Tenn.) pitched the sixth and seventh, respectively. The former allowed only one hit, but gave up a single unearned run to allow Murray State to tie the game at 2-2. The latter allowed a pair of base runners thanks to a couple of walks, but didn't give up a hit and struck out the final batter of the inning.
Freshman Austin Coley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) had the most impressive night on the mound, allowing only one hit during the final three innings of the contest. Coley walked no batters and struck out one in picking up the first win of his young career at Belmont. The right-hander now holds a 2.31 ERA in 11.0 innings of relief on the season.
"Austin Coley stepped up and did an outstanding job for us on the mound tonight," Jarvis continued. "I really see him starting to grow, develop, and get his rhythm going."
Before the Thoroughbreds tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth, Belmont opened up the scoring with two runs in the fourth inning. The Bruins benefited from a pair of hits and a pair of sacrifice flies during the frame. Senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single through the infield. He then reached third base on sophomore Greg Brody's (Dacula, Ga.) third double of the season.
Junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) then flied out to right field to drive in Craig, before freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) tallied his team-leading 11th RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field. Brody had to get on his horse to beat out the throw from not very deep center.
"It was a well played ball game," Jarvis said following the win. "Murray State is a good club. They don't beat themselves, they didn't make any defensive mistakes, and their pitchers did a good job of throwing strikes."
Belmont finished with three runs on five hits and one error, as Coley improved to 1-0 with the win. Murray State totaled two runs on five hits and no errors. The Thoroughbreds' Gordon fell to 1-1 on the year in the loss, after allowing the final run on just two hits.
The Bruins will now head on the road for the first time in 2012 after finishing up a 13-game home stand to start the season. Belmont will play at Auburn in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. All three games of the weekend can be heard live via the Bruin Sports Network.