NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball (3-4) falls to Indiana State (5-2) in a 7-4 decision Sunday afternoon after a costly ninth inning.
Junior Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.) started on the bump for the Bruins. Queener sat down two batters in the first inning to give Belmont some momentum. Belmont would get things going in the bottom of the third.
After two quick outs, senior Cully Day (Mahomet, Tenn.) got things started, hitting a bomb to right field for a solo home run. Junior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) followed that up with a double to left center field. Sophomore Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) rocketed an RBI single to center field that sent Holland across the plate which forced an Indiana State pitching change. The Sycamores would retire the inning giving up two runs to the Bruins.
Indiana State scored its first run in the top of the first after a Sycamore was hit by a pitch and advanced to ultimately score on a wild pitch. Belmont earned their two-run lead back later in the inning. Senior Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) started the inning off with a deep double to right field. Senior Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) hit a double of his own to center field that sent Kocher home for a 3-1 lead.
Indiana State threatened to make a move in the top of the first, putting together a couple hits to load the bases with only one out. Belmont stepped up and made a double play to retire the side.
Belmont continued to keep the hits coming in the bottom of the fifth with Holland firing off another double to put himself in scoring position. Junior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) got in on the action knocking one up the right side to drive Holland home to extend the Belmont lead to 4-1.
Indiana State continued to put on the pressure, scoring in the seventh inning to cut Belmont's lead to two runs. After a scoreless eighth inning, Belmont looked to put things away in the top of the ninth. Freshman Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.), who hadn't allowed a hit in his first two appearances, tried to close things out on the mound for the Bruins. Bowen made a great play to throw the second batter out at first to put Belmont within one out. After a walk and a couple base hits, Indiana State sent two runs across the plate to tie the game.
After a base hit and stolen base from day and intentional walks of Cogen and Hadden, Belmont was in scoring position with two outs. Kocher stepped to the plate to attempt to seal the deal for the Bruins, but lined out to the first baseman to send the game into extra innings.
The Sycamores rallied in the top of the 10th, scoring three runs before freshman Chandler Schultz (Nashville, Tenn.) took the hill for the Bruins. Schultz struck out the first batter he faced and Day made a defensive play to end the Indiana State run.
Belmont was unable to get things going in the bottom of the 10th and ultimately fell 7-4.
Belmont will return to E.S. Rose Park on Tuesday Feb. 27th as they welcome Southern Illinois University. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m.