NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball wrapped up a three-game weekend series against Youngstown State with a 5-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park. BU finished the series 2-1 over the Penguins winning on Saturday and Sunday.
Belmont got off to a hot start with starting hurler junior Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.) striking out the first batter he faced. Belmont then made two defensive plays to have a three up, three down inning.
Youngstown would heat up early in the game with both of their runs coming in the top of the second. After walking two batters, Nick Caruso smacked a double to send two Penguins across the plate for an early 2-0 lead.
The Bottom of the third proved to be an important momentum switch for the Bruins. Senior Cully Day (Mohamet, Ill.) got things going with a single. The next batter up, freshman Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) continued the hits for the Bruins, smashing a double that sent Day home for the Bruins first run. Later in the inning, senior Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) put up a sacrifice fly to drive Campbell home to knot things up 2-2.
The next two innings proved to be a defensive battle with only one hit recorded by either team. Belmont would strike again in the bottom of the sixth. After sophomore Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) reached first base on balls, junior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) singled and junior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) shot one down to left field that allowed Cogen to make it across home plate to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.
After holding the Penguins scoreless for the seventh and eighth innings, Belmont looked to extend their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Even after two quick outs, BU never gave up. Gardner was hit by a pitch to reach first base and advanced to second after senior Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) notched his second hit of the afternoon. Day was up at bat with runners on first and second. He blasted a ball to left center field that dropped just before the fence on the warning track. His second hit of the day was enough to send both base runners home to extend the lead 5-2.
Freshman hurler Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.) was on the bump for the Bruins at the top of the ninth to try and secure a second-consecutive save in as many collegiate outings. Bowen faced three batters and struck out his final two to secure the Belmont victory.
Belmont outhit Youngstown State 11-5 with neither team commiting any errors.
Belmont will be back on the field Tuesday as they travel to Bowling Green, Ky. To faceoff with Western Kentucky University. First pitch is slated for 3:00 pm at Nick Denes Field.