April Showers, May Flowers

April Showers, May Flowers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University baseball (25-19, 12-9 OVC) defeated Jacksonville State (28-15, 16-5 OVC) 9-7, Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park in the final game of a weekend three-game series.

The Bruins, after dropping a pitcher's duel and a slugfest to the visiting Gamecocks earlier this weekend, were resolute and determined from the opening pitch.

Sophomore Tyler Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) continued his stretch of quality starts, cooling down JSU bats by surrendering three earned runs over five and two-thirds innings to improve to 6-1 on the season.

After an RBI single from freshman Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.), junior Brennan Washington (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) blasted a two-run homerun to cap a three-run first inning for the Bruins.

Meanwhile, Vaughn cruised through the first four frames, as only a Paschal Petrongolo solo blast kept Belmont from putting all zeroes on the scoreboard.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) delivered a two-run double before senior Tyler Fullerton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) hammered a grand slam to center field to extend the Bruin lead to 9-1.

The Gamecocks closed within 9-7 with two-spots in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings, respectively.

And though Belmont could not provide insurance with a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, junior Dom Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) pitched two scoreless innings to secure the victory and record his fourth save of the campaign.

"It was a great start on the mound by Tyler Vaughn for us," Belmont head coach Dave Jarvis said following the game. "We also had a very good approach at the plate today, and you could see the dividends from Tyler, Brennan, Kyle, pretty much up and down the lineup. And a great job closing by Dom (Veltri) who continues to grow in that role for us."

Jack Pierce (3-4) took the setback for JSU, as Belmont produced eight runs and seven hits over his three-plus innings of work.

Sophomore Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) continued his stellar play, setting the table to the tune of 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

At 12-9 in league play, Belmont stays in the heart of the OVC race with three conference series remaining.

The Bruins return to game action Wednesday at Evansville. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.