Dealin’ and Doublin’

Dealin’ and Doublin’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Egli (Brentwood, Tenn.) provided three runs on two doubles, while Connor Etheridge (Springfield, Ill.) dazzled on the mound as Belmont baseball handed Morehead State its first Ohio Valley Conference defeat, 4-2, Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.

The Egli, Etheridge duo were clicking early as the Bruins (8-10, 3-3 OVC) jumped all over the Eagles (13-6, 5-1 OVC) in the first inning, 3-0, after the first four Bruins to the plate reached safely. Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) kicked off the scoring as the third batter, scoring Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) on a single to left field. Right on cue, Egli pounded his first double to right center, bringing Alex Ward (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Cogen around the bases.

With a comfortable lead early in the series finale, Etheridge threw free and easy, extending his scoreless streak to 14-straight innings until exiting in the seventh after a 92-pitch, seven strikeout day in which he allowed just four hits.

Morehead State threatened in the top of the third with a leadoff single straight up the middle, but the ensuing three hitters connected on at-em balls to the outfield right at the Bruins' defense, subduing any chance of cutting into the 3-0 Belmont advantage. 

Egli brought home his third RBI of the afternoon in the third inning after his second double of the day, this time down the left field line, catapulting Belmont to a 4-0 lead after Cogen walked to begin the frame.

Kyle Klotz (Fairview, Tenn.) took Etheridge's place on the bump in the seventh inning after allowing a single and a walk for runners on first and second, endangering the 4-0 lead. Etheridge's day ended after 92 pitches over six innings, four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

Klotz plunked the first two batters he faced, simultaneously loading the bases, while bringing in Morehead State's first run of the contest, 4-1, in the seventh. A ground ball to third base plated another Eagle and cut the Belmont advantage to two, 4-2, with two outs. Etheridge, although not pitching when the runs were allowed, was charged with the scores, ending his 14-inning scoreless streak.

The Eagles made it interesting down to their last at bat in the top of the ninth. Closer Dom Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) allowed a double and then the tying run reached on a bunt single, putting runners on the corners. The Bruins held tough and a hard-hit ball to Conger at shortstop ended the contest in favor of the Bruins, 4-2.

Up Next: The Bruins will play No. 24 Vanderbilt at the Nashville Sounds First Tennessee Park on Tuesday, March 21. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.