NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball defeated Ohio Valley Conference foe UT Martin 11-1 on Friday for the first game of a three-game series.
Senior Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.) got off to another good start on the mound, keeping the Skyhawks scoreless through the first three innings. UT Martin notched its one and only hit of the night in the bottom of the third.
Belmont started its offensive momentum in the top of the fourth inning. A leadoff walk by freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.) put Belmont in good position. Junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) and senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) followed the walk with a single and double respectively. Gardner's double plated both Taylor and Adkins for a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) then scored Gardner with a single of his own to give BU a 3-0 lead.
UT Martin would score its one and only run of the night in the bottom of the fourth after a leadoff walk eventually scored on a Belmont error.
The Bruins added two more runs in the top of the fifth after three consecutive hits from Taylor, Adkins and Gardner gave Belmont a 5-1 lead. Belmont loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but the Skyhawks got out of the jam to keep the Belmont lead manageable.
Belmont blew the game open in the top of the fifth, when BU batted around and more. The Bruins notched six hits in the inning, scoring six runs. Gardner started the offensive run when he worked a walk to put a base runner on. Freshman Tommy Crider (Madison, Ala.), senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) and Campbell recorded consecutive singles, giving Belmont an 8-1 lead. Junior Hagan severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) plated the ninth run when he drove in freshman John Behrends (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who worked a walk, with a two-out double to give Belmont a 9-1 lead. Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) finished off the scoring in the big inning with an RBI single, giving Belmont a 10-1 lead after seven innings.
Sophomore Chandler Schultz (Nashville, Tenn.) was called on out of the bullpen in the seventh inning. Schultz was immediately effective, sitting the Eagles down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Crider rounded out the Belmont scoring in the top of the eighth when he crushed a solo home run over the left field fence, his first long ball of his career, giving Belmont an 11-1 lead.
Schultz struck out the side in the eighth and retired the Skyhawks in order again in the ninth, securing the save and the 11-1 Belmont victory.
The Bruins finished the night with a season-high 17 hits.
Belmont and UT Martin will meet again on Saturday with first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. CT.