NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball fell to SIUE 3-1 in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
Belmont took its first lead of the night in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) worked a walk, giving Belmont a base runner. Fellow senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.), plated Hadden with an RBI triple, giving Belmont a 1-0 lead after two complete.
The Bruins' lead was short lived when SIUE scored two runs on three hits in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. The Cougars threatened to blow things open in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. Belmont's defense dug in and got out of the jam. Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) made a nice play on a foul ball for the first out before a clutch 1-2-3 double play got Belmont out of the inning with no damage.
After a scoreless fourth inning, SIUE took a 3-1 lead, scoring a run on two hits. Belmont got out of the inning with little damage though with another double play to end the inning. The double play was another non-traditional one for the Bruins, as freshman Joshua South (Cookeville, Tenn.) struck out the batter and freshman Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) threw a perfect ball to second base to catch the runner stealing to end the inning.
Sophomore Stone Selby (Hohenwald, Tenn.) was called on from the Belmont bullpen in the sixth inning. Selby struck out the first two batters he faced and forced a routine ground out for a quick three up, three down top of the sixth. Selby was effective for the second consecutive inning, retiring the Cougars in order in the seventh with the help of Belmont's fourth double play of the day to keep the score 3-1 in favor of SIUE.
Belmont put together a threat in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a leadoff double by Holland, Campbell worked a walk, putting the tying run on base. With two outs, Taylor hit into a fielder's choice, but an error by the shortstop allowed Holland to reach third safely to load the bases for the Bruins. However, a close play at first base on a groundout to the pitcher would end the inning, stranding BU's three base runners.
Selby, who finished the game on the mound for the Bruins, continued to be impressive keeping the Cougars off the board in the top of the eighth and ninth to keep the Bruins' deficit at two runs.
After being retired in order in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Logan Jarvis (Franklin, Tenn.) tried to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out single through the right side. He stole second base, putting himself in scoring position but Belmont wasn't able to plate any more runs on the afternoon, falling 3-1 to SIUE.
A decisive third game will be played Sunday at E.S. Rose Park. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m. CT.