MARTIN, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (30-19, 13-8 A-Sun) recorded its 30th win of the season with a 5-0 shutout of UT Martin (12-35, 6-15 OVC) on Wednesday evening. It marked only the fifth time in the Bruins' NCAA era, and the ninth time in program history, that BU has recorded 30 wins in a season. Last season's 38 victories was a team record.
Three Belmont pitchers, led by freshman starter Dan Ludwig (Naperville, Ill.), combined for the Bruin shutout on Wednesday. Ludwig pitched six shutout innings to start off BU's sixth shutout of the season. The left-hander allowed only three hits and struck out two to improve to 4-4 on the season.
All of the Bruin run support came during Ludwig's stint on the mound, as Belmont scored five times during the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) doubled to lead off the third inning, and junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) drove him in with a single to right field.
BU added two runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead over the Skyhawks. Junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) walked to lead off the frame, and eventually came around to score on a long home run over the left field fence by sophomore William Dodd (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). It tied Dodd with freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) with a team-leading five homers.
Beaty then gave the Bruins another two runs of insurance in the fifth inning. Playing near his hometown of Dresden, the freshman drove in senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) with a triple down the right field line. Craig had reached on a single to left field. Beaty scored from third on a UT Martin wild pitch.
With a 5-0 lead, Junior Josh Davis (Fayetteville, Ga.) relieved Ludwig for the seventh and eighth innings. The right-hander allowed just one hit and struck out one before handing the ball over to senior Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.). The Belmont closer struck out one and allowed one hit to give the Bruins a 5-0 victory.
BU finished with five runs on 10 hits and no errors. Ludwig earned the win to improve to 4-4 on the year. Mitchell went three-for-four to lead the Bruins at the plate, while Akers tallied two hits, Dodd recorded a home run, and Beaty tripled to add to the Belmont offense.
UT Martin was shutout on five hit and one error. Starter Danny Kelley fell to 0-5 on the season after allowing five runs on eight hits. The UTM bullpen allowed just two hits in four shutout innings to end the game. Grant Glasser and Chase Okey each recorded two hits for the Skyhawks in the defeat.
Belmont will next travel to Fort Myers for a three-game series at Florida Gulf Coast this weekend. The Bruins are currently second in Atlantic Sun Conference play with a mark of 13-8 in league play. BU will finish out conference action with a home series against Lipscomb.