NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University split a pair of games on Saturday against Bowling Green State University. The Bruins defeated the Falcons 12-3 in game one of the double header before falling 1-0 in game two Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Joshua South (Cookeville, Tenn.) got his second start of the season on the bump for the Bruins. He looked impressive out of the gate, retiring the Falcons in order.
After a leadoff walk was worked by senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), freshman Tommy Crider (Cullman, Ala.) notched the first hit of the night with a single to center. Belmont threatened early with runners on the corners with just one out but were unable to plate either keeping the game scoreless after one inning.
BGSU opened up the game's scoring in the top of the second, taking advantage of two base hits and a balk to take a 1-0 lead. The Falcons increased its lead to 2-0 in the top of the third after a single and RBI double. Belmont was unable to answer in the bottom of the third.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Belmont's bats got hot, putting them on the board in the bottom of the fifth. After two quick outs, senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) started a rally with a back knock to center field. Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) kept things alive with a single of his own, putting the tying run aboard. Freshman Grayson Taylor (Madison, Ala.) plated the tying runs with a double to deep right center field to tie things up 2-2 after five complete innings.
The Falcons wasted no time getting back on the board, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the sixth after two base hits and a sacrifice bunt.
The Bruins blew the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth scoring nine runs on five hits in the inning. Leadoff man Campbell worked a leadoff walk to put the tying run on. Sophomore Logan Jarvis (Franklin, Tenn.) notched his first hit of the night, setting up Taylor to deliver the sacrifice fly to tie things 3-3. A couple of bases-loaded walks and an Ehrhart single put Belmont ahead 7-3. With the bases loaded, Campbell stepped up to the plate for the second time in the innings and laced a base-clearing double to put the Bruins ahead 10-3. Jarvis would plate Campbell with a base knock for the final run of the inning, giving Belmont a commanding 11-3 lead.
Sophomore pitcher Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) relieved South in the top of the seventh inning with his first save opportunity of the season and was able to keep the Falcons off the board in the seventh and the eighth.
A leadoff double from Crider in the bottom of the eighth set up the final run for the Bruins. Jarvis delivered a one-out RBI single to plate Crider for the 12-3 lead after eight complete innings.
Brennan allowed his only hit of the ninth in the top of the ninth but forced three-consecutive outs to secure the 12-3 victory.
Belmont finished the game with an impressive 14 hits and 12 RBI.
Game two was a much different story than the first game of the double header with just one run scored in the second game. Bowling Green took the game 1-0 in what turned out to be a pitcher's duel.
Sophomore Korey Bell (Brentwood, Tenn.) was the starting pitcher for the Bruins, retiring the Falcons in order to start the game off.
Belmont's leadoff man Ehrhart was aboard early after working a walk, but he was stranded after the next three Bruins were retired.
Bell forced another three up, three down inning in the second to keep things scoreless, but BGSU returned the favor keeping the game scoreless after two.
Bowling Green threatened to score I the top of the third after a base hit, hit batsmen and sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with just one out. A big Bell strikeout and an impressive play at the plate got Belmont out of the jam, keeping the Falcons off the board.
Both offenses continued to struggle, with no score after four complete innings. Both teams would walk one in their half of the fifth inning, but neither team could push its runner across home plate.
Bowling Green looked to get things going in the top of the sixth after a leadoff base knock. Belmont once again dug in defensively and kept the Falcons off the board.
After retiring Belmont in order in the bottom of the sixth, the Falcons cracked the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. The half inning was the only multi-hit inning for either team. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt plated the only run of the night for the 1-0 lead.
Belmont tried to manufacture a run in the bottom of the seventh after Severance reached on an error and stole second to get in scoring position but was stranded when a strikeout ended the inning.
After keeping the Falcons off the board in the top of the eighth, Taylor notched a pinch hit double to put the tying run in scoring position. With a walk to Ehrhart, Belmont was in good position with runners on first and second with only one out. The Falcons pitcher was able to get out of the jam, striking out the next two Belmont Batters.
The Falcons looked to score in insurance run in the top of the ninth inning after a single and a walk put two on. Freshman Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.) forced a pop up and a fly ball to hold BGSU scoreless and give Belmont one final chance in the bottom of the ninth.
Belmont's offensive struggles continued in the bottom of the ninth as they were retired in order to fall 1-0.
Belmont will be back in action Tuesday, March 5 for its first road game of the season as they travel to Middle Tennessee State University. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. CT.