NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball embarks on its final road trip of its 2017 slate, traveling to Evansville, Indiana to take on the Purple Aces on Tuesday, May 16. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Bruan Stadium.
The Bruins boast an overall record of 26-25, having won four of their last five midweek contests. Offensively, Belmont has been led primarily by three bruins - Nick Egli (Brentwood, Tenn.), Rafael Bournigal (Mulberry, Fla.) and Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.). While Egli leads the squad in nearly every statistical category, both Borunigal and Cogen have been heating up at the plate as of late. Cogen has registered multiple hits in five of BU's last six contests while Bournigal connected on 11 hits last week. Egli boasts a batting average of .364, while Bournigal (.327) and Cogen (.327) follow close behind. Belmont sits atop the league with 69 stolen bases as senior Tyler Walsh (Evansville, Ind.) leads the charge, having robbed 19 bases in his 23 attempts. Collectively, the team has registered 472 hits, 299 runs and 267 RBIs.
On the mound, Belmont's pitching staff has disrupted their opponents all season long. Sophomore hurler Dylan King (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) leads the team with an ERA of 3.71 (ranking second in OVC) while Tyler Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) sits second the conference having logged 83.2 innings in his junior campaign. The Bruins have also seen extensive production from their bullpen with 11 different pitchers taking the hill for Belmont. Sophomore Kyle Klotz (Fairview, Tenn.) leads the OVC with 39 appearances, tossing 52.1 innings and earning a record of 3-3 on the mound. Senior closer Dom Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) has earned eight of Belmont's 11 saves this season - ranking second in the league.
Redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen has found a way to register multiple hits all season long, having connected on at least two hits in five of the Bruins last six games. He has registered 21 multi-hit outings in his rookie campaign and boasts a .327 batting average. He has tallied 64 hits on the season - tied for the most on the squad.
HOLLAND GETTING HOT
Hunter Holland (Soddy Diasy, Tenn.) has been heating up at the plate during the second half of the season, launching seven home runs including a grand slam at Lipscomb (4.25) and going yard in consecutive at bats against SEMO (5.14). The sophomore currently leads the team in batting average in conference play (.385), largely contributed by a career-best 5-for-5 day in the OVC finale versus the Redhawks.
LOTZ OF KLOTZ
Sophomore Kyle Klotz has been the go-to hurler in the Bruins bullpen all season long, making 39 appearances on the mound while compiling 52.1 innings of work. The right-handed reliever has tallied an ERA of 4.30 on the year, striking out 37 batters. In his conference leading 39 appearances Klotz boasts a 3-3 record on the hill for Belmont. He also currently sits second in BU's all-time record book in single season appearances, behind Jesse Snodgrass' 44 appearances in 2013.
BRING ON BOURNIGAL
Belmont has enjoyed consistency at the plate from junior Rafael Bournigal in recent contests. The second baseman has taken over in the leadoff spot in the lineup in the last 19 games. He sits second on the team, batting .327 while registering 56 hits and 31 runs this season.
ZERO TO SIXTY
It takes little time for senior infielder Tyler Walsh to turn on the speed as he's displayed on multiple occasions this year. He's robbed three bags in an outing during two contests this season. The speedster boasts a 19-for-23 record when attempting to steal. In his third stolen base at Lipscomb (4.25), Walsh carved his name atop the Belmont baseball record book having hijacked 60 bases in his career - the most any Bruin has compiled since becoming a NCAA institution. He passed Matt Reynolds (2004-07) who previous own the title with 59. Walsh has currently swiped 65 bags in his BU career.