NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball opened Ohio Valley Conference play with a hard-fought victory Friday night, defeating Morehead State 4-3.
Each team notched a hit in their half of the first inning, but neither team was able to get on the board in the first.
Belmont took the lead early, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a couple quick outs, freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.) got things going with a double to the right-center field gap. Junior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) then crushed a ball past the left field fence to give Belmont an early 2-0 lead.
Morehead State responded in the top of the third, cutting the lead in half. Senior pitcher Casey Queener did an impressive job of limiting the damage at one run after three base hits and a walk gave the Eagles four base runners in the inning.
The Eagles tied things up in the top of the fifth inning after a leadoff hit and an RBI double knotted it up 2-2. Morehead took the lead later in the inning, scoring an unearned run for a 3-2 lead.
Belmont retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Severance continued his impressive night at the plate with a one-out infield single to put the tying run aboard. Junior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) was then hit by a pitch putting the go-ahead run on base. Junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) delivered a clutch single that cleared the bases and gave Belmont a 4-3 lead.
The Eagles looked to start a rally in the top of the eighth, leading off with a base knock to right center field. The Bruins dug in defensively and turned a double play to keep momentum in their favor. Morehead didn't let up however, putting the tying run on with a pinch-hit double. Sophomore Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) stranded him at second though with a massive strikeout to end the inning.
With a narrow lead, Brennan and the Bruins were just three outs from a conference opening victory. Brennan retired the Eagles in order to notch his first win of the season, preserving the 4-3 victory.
Belmont will be back in action tomorrow at 1:00 for game-two of the series at E.S. Rose Park.