MURRAY, KY. – Belmont Baseball picked up a 13-10 victory after a big ninth inning in which senior Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) plated the go-ahead run.
The Bruins made a statement early in the matchup. Senior Cully Day (Mahomet, Ill.) got things going by working a four-pitch leadoff walk. Sophomore Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) singled through the right side and senior Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Senior Austin Reynolds (Smyrna, Tenn.) came up clutch with a two-out RBI double that plated two runs to give Belmont a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first inning.
Senior Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.) earned his 10thstart on the mound for the Bruins Sunday afternoon. After retiring the first batter, Queener found himself in a jam with the bases loaded and two outs, but he got his first strikeout of the game to end the inning with no damage done.
The Bruins bats came alive in the top of the second. Freshman Jordan Henshaw (New Market, Ala.) worked a leadoff walk for the second-straight inning before junior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) delivered a double to left field that put both base runners in scoring position. Both runners would both score on consecutive Murray State wild pitches to take a 4-0 lead. Cully Day scored the final run of the inning with a homerun over the right field fence to give the Bruins a 5-0 lead.
After a scoreless third, the Racers cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with a triple and a sacrifice fly that scored the base runner. The Bruins' got out of the inning with little damage after Queener forced a fly out to end the inning with a score of 5-1 in favor of the Bruins.
Murray State continued to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the sixth. After two hit batsmen and a walk, the Racers loaded the bases with two outs. A high floating RBI double to left center scored all three base runners and the BU lead was cut 5-4 before the Bruins could get out of the inning.
Belmont responded in the top of the seventh, tacking on their sixth run of the night. Freshman Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) worked a one-out walk to give the Bruins a base runner. Junior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) followed that up with a single, pushing Campbell to scoring position. Junior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) recorded the ninth BU hit of the night with a RBI single to give the Bruins a 6-4 lead.
The Racers responded, taking their first lead of the night in the bottom of the inning. After a base hit and a walk, Ryan Perkins hit a two-out, three-run homer over the right field fence to give Murray a 7-6 lead. The Racers would load the bases once again and scored on a wild pitch, increasing their lead 8-6, before freshman Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) struck out the side.
Murray State tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to increase their lead 10-6.
Belmont came into the ninth needing four runs to keep the game going. Campbell, junior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), and Henshaw worked three-consecutive walks to put the tying run at the plate. Holland worked the fourth-straight walk of the inning which plated a run, making it a 10-7 game. The next two batters were retired, and Cogen stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and delivered a RBI single to right center to plate two and pull the Bruins within a run. Junior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) kept things alive for the Bruins, as he delivered a shot to right field that scored Holland to knot things up 10-10. Campbell laid down the fourth-consecutive base hit that scored the 12th run. A Racers error allowed another run to score, but Campbell was thrown out trying to cross home plate to end the inning.
The Bruins took a 13-10 lead into the bottom of the ninth, looking to close things out. Brennan forced two groundouts and a fly out to secure the victory.
The Bruins out-hit the Racers 14-7 and committed just one error. Queener finished his outing with five strikeouts and four walks in six innings of work. Brennan picked up his second win of the season, improving to 2-1 overall.
The Bruins travel to Evansville on Tuesday, May 2ndfor a midweek matchup. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. CT.