NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball dropped a 15-7 decision in a midweek matchup Tuesday afternoon.
Western Kentucky scored their first two runs in the top of the second inning. Despite two quick runs, the Hilltoppers responded with a two-run home run shot to set the tone.
In the bottom of the second, Senior Austin Reynolds (Smyrna, Tenn.) recorded BU's first hit of the night with a double to the right field warning track. He would then advance to third, taking advantage of a wild pitch, but was stranded at third.
Belmont struggled to get things going early and Western Kentucky took advantage. In the top of the third, the Hilltoppers hit two long balls, including a grand slam and a three-run homer. WKU's bats were on fire as they extended their lead 9-0.
Belmont responded in the bottom of the third with freshman Jackson Campbell (Russelville, Ky.) leading off with a double to right field. Freshman Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) followed that up by reaching two bases on an error that also allowed Campbell to cross home plate to put the Bruins on the board. After another base hit by junior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.), sophomore Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) stepped up to the plate. Cogen sent a bomb over the outfield fence to drive in three runs, cutting the lead 9-4. Belmont would load the bases again but would leave all three runners stranded to end the inning.
After a three up three down inning, Belmont tried to build on their momentum. Brennan sent one in between the WKU third baseman and shortstop to reach first base. Senior Cully Day (Mahomet, Ill.) would then record his only hit of the night with a double up the right line. Brennan would then score on a wild pitch for BU's fifth run of the night.
Western Kentucky continued to have hot bats leading off the top of the fifth with a solo shot and tacking on two more during the inning. After a couple quiet innings, the Hilltoppers would round out their scoring with three runs in the top of the seventh.
The Bruins tried to rally late. Day would walk to start the bottom of the eighth. Holland and Cogen, recorded back-to-back RBI doubles to score the sixth and seventh Belmont runs. After a promising start, the next three Belmont batters were retired to end the inning.
Sophomore Justin Fowlkes (Collierville, Tenn.) started on the mound for the Bruins, throwing 2 1/3 innings, striking out two. Freshmen Chandler Schultz (Nashville, Tenn.), Edgar Parker (Jamestown, Tenn.), Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.) and sophomore Michael Matter (Ft. Myers, Fla.) all saw time on the Bump for Belmont. Belmont's pitching staff recorded seven strikeouts.
The Bruins recorded 10 hits on the night and committed no errors.
Belmont will be back in action this weekend for the start of Ohio Valley Conference Play. Belmont will host Eastern Kentucky for a three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for Friday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m.