NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (29-17, 13-6) defeated North Florida (26-20, 7-12) by a score of 6-1 in the first game of the weekend series with the Ospreys. Junior Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was masterful on the mound, scattering five hits and allowing just one run in his first complete game of the season.
After giving up a solo home run in the top of the second, Belmont countered with four runs in the bottom half to take a 4-1 lead into the third inning. Junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) and senior Phillip Parsley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) started the rally with back to back singles with one out.
UNF starter Michael Renner was able to get the next two batters to fly out and ground out, but the latter turned into a throwing error by Osprey shortstop Joe Iorio, extending the inning for the Bruins. Akers came around to score on the error, and Parsley scored on a single to left field by freshman Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.).
Senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) walked to load the bases, and junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) ripped a single to left field to drive in the final two runs of the frame. All four runs given up by Renner were unearned due to the two-out error.
The Bruins added two runs in the fifth to increase their lead to 6-1 heading into the sixth. Turner reached on another error by Iorio to lead off the inning. The Belmont right fielder quickly came around to score on freshman Matt Beaty's (Dresden, Tenn.) team-leading fifth home run of the season.
Brookshire allowed just one run on the solo homer in the second, and tied a season-best with eight strikeouts, while walking no batters. The left-hander improved to 6-2 on the season and dropped his ERA down to 2.38 for the season. The win marked the 18th in the junior's career.
"It was good for us to have last weekend off, because a lot of guys had a chance to rest," Brookshire said of the Bruins' performance. "It always helps the team when we get out to a good start on Friday, so I was especially motivated after losing the last two Fridays."
The junior went on to talk about his own performance, saying "I got ahead early in counts, which helped me out a lot. I was able to do some different things because of that fact. I also got a lot of ground balls early so my pitch count didn't get too high."
Belmont finished with six runs on nine hits and one error. Brookshire picked up the win on the mound. Beaty recorded a homer and a double, while Akers went three-for-four with a run scored in the victory. Moses chipped in with two hits on the night.
"I was really pleased with the production from Matt Beaty in the four-hole for us," Head Coach Dave Jarvis said following the game. "It's also good to see Judah Akers get three hits, and Scotty Moses is starting to get enough at bats that he is continuing to become a more productive hitter for us."
North Florida totaled just one run on five hits and three errors. Renner fell to 3-6 on the season after allowing six runs, five of which were unearned, on nine hits in an eight-inning complete game. Ryan Roberson and Joe Wielbruda led the offense with two hits in the defeat.
The Bruins and the Ospreys will play in the second game of the series on Saturday. The contest is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Rose Park.