May 8, 2013

Bruins Knock Off No. 21 Mercer in Extra Innings

MACON, Ga. – Behind a two-run tenth inning, Belmont Baseball (33-15, 16-5) knocked off No. 21 Mercer, 6-4, in 10 innings Wednesday.

An RBI single from Jamie Ritchie (Buford, Ga.) to right field scored Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) in the second to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.

With two outs, Josh Davis (Fayetteville, Ga.) hit a single to center to score Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) and put the Bruins ahead 2-0 in the third. Mercer got on the board in the bottom half of the inning after Derrick Workman hit an RBI single to right field.

A leadoff home run from Austin Barrett and a two-run homer from Nick Backlund put the Bears on top in the bottom of the fifth 4-2.

The Bruins responded in the top of the sixth with a two-run rally with two outs. Dom Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) got things started with an RBI single to score Jamie Ritchie (Buford, Ga.) and make it a one-run game. Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.), who came in as a pinch hitter, hit an RBI single to left center, tying the game at 4-4. 

Three consecutive singles from Davis, Akers and Alec Diamond (Kennesaw, Ga.) loaded the bases for the Bruins in the top of the seventh, but Mercer reliever Grant Papelian struck out two to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

Mercer closer Dimitri Kourtis retired the first eight Belmont batters he faced, but the Bruins pounced with two outs in the tenth - taking a 6-4 lead behind a single from Veltri, and consecutive doubles from Beaty and Drew Ferguson (Knoxville, Tenn.). In the bottom half of the inning, Beaty made a great back-handed stab to rob Barrett of extra bases and force out the lead runner. A Dan Huenecke (Palatine, Ill.) strikeout and a fly out to center ended the game securing the Bruins' win. 

Belmont will return to Rose Park this weekend, playing host Murray State. This will be the final home series of the 2013 season, with Senior Day scheduled for Saturday afternoon.