NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 3 Belmont baseball came up short in its opening game of the OVC Tournament against No. 6 Murray State on Wednesday afternoon, dropping a 9-3 decision to the Racers at Choccolocco Park.
With storms rolling through the area on and off all day, the weather played a large role in game three of the tournament. Gusty winds helped aid the first seven runs as they were all scored via the long ball. Collectively, the two teams registered six home runs - Murray State (28-28) collected four while the Bruins (28-28) tallied a pair.
Picking up right where he left off the last time he played at Choccolocco Park earlier in the season, senior Nick Egli (Brentwood, Tenn.) got the scoring started as he blasted a solo shot to left field to give the Bruins their only lead of the game, 1-0, in the home half of the opening frame. It was the veteran's fifth time going yard in the ballpark and his 17th of the season.
Starting hurler Dylan King (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) shut down the Racers offense through the first three innings, holding them scoreless while tossing three strikeouts before Murray State used back-to-back homers to go up 2-1. Tyler Lawrence led off the fourth with the first home run to right center before Davis Sims matched his effort and gave the Racers the advantage. MSU continued to tack on the runs in the fifth with two more homers that accounted for three runs and allowed them to go up, 5-1.
The Bruins struck once again in the fifth as senior Tyler Walsh (Evansville, Ind.) brought BU within three sending another one over the left field barrier to bring the total to six home runs in the contest. Walsh continued to spark the squad's offence in the seventh collecting his second RBI on a base shot to shallow left field, bringing home Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) to cut their deficit in half, 6-3.
Murray State went on to score three more runs in the top of the ninth and secure an 8-3 win over Belmont. The Bruins were led by a pair of multi-hit outings from the senior duo of Walsh and Rafael Bournigal (Mulberry, Fla.).
Belmont will move to the elimination bracket and will either play at 9 a.m. or 7:30 p.m. depending on the results from Game 4. Follow @BelmontBaseball on twitter for schedule updates.