NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A four-run fifth inning led the Belmont baseball team (28-16, 12-6 A-Sun) past UT Martin (10-30, 4-11 OVC) by a score of 6-3 on Tuesday evening at Rose Park. The Bruins received all of their scoring in the fourth and fifth, while the BU pitching allowed the Skyhawks only three runs in the top of fourth.
Freshman Austin Coley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) recorded his first start on the mound as a Bruin, and was reeling through the first three innings. Coley allowed just one hit and struck out four batters to keep the game at a scoreless tie heading to the fourth.
That is when Belmont gave up the only UT Martin runs of the game. Coley hit the first two batters, and then recorded the first out of the frame before freshman Dan Ludwig (Naperville, Ill.) relieved the righty. Ludwig, who has been the midweek starter to Coley's normal relief duties, allowed four singles during the fourth.
The first two Skyhawk runs were credited to Coley, while the third was Ludwig's. After finally getting out of the jam, Ludwig allowed just three hits in a pair of shutout innings during the fifth and sixth. He improved to 3-4 on the season thanks to the offensive output by the Bruins following his appearance on the mound.
The Belmont offense countered UT Martin's three-run fourth inning with a pair of its own in the bottom half of the frame. Senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) singled to lead off the inning, freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) walked, and junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) reached on an error to load the bases for the Bruins.
Senior Phillip Parsley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) then drove in the first Belmont run of the game on a single to center field. Playing first base for the first time this season, Parsley extended his hitting streak to six games, the longest current streak on the team. Freshman Alec Diamond (Kennesaw, Ga.) then walked which brought home Beaty.
After a scoreless top half of the fifth, the Bruins took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) singled to lead off the inning. Junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) reached on an error, Craig singled, and then Beaty tripled down the right field line to empty the bases and put BU ahead by a score of 5-3. The freshman then came around to score on an RBI ground out by Akers.
The back end of the Belmont bullpen was as solid as a rock on Tuesday, allowing no runs on only two hits between junior Josh Davis (Fayetteville, Ga.), freshman Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.), and senior Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.).
Fanchier struck out two, walked no batters, and allowed no hits in recording his 11th save of the season. The Belmont closer came in to Tuesday's game tied for first in the Atlantic Sun Conference and sixth in the nation with 10 saves in 2012.
The Bruins finished with six runs on eight hits and no errors. Ludwig picked up the win after allowing one run on seven hits, while striking out one and walking none. Craig led the Bruins at the plate with three hits and two runs scored. Mitchell added a pair of singles, while Beaty and Parsley both drove in two runs.
UT Martin totaled three runs on 10 hits and three errors. Trevor Lundgrin fell to 0-3 on the season after allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on three hits. Nico Zych and Sonny Mastromatteo each recorded three hits for the Skyhawks in the defeat.
Belmont will take a week off for finals before returning to action at Evansville on Wednesday, May 2. The Bruins will then host North Florida in a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series the weekend of May 4-6.