KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball dropped a hard-fought 6-2 decision to University of Tennessee on Tuesday night.
Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) got the night started on a good note for the Bruins, working a four pitch walk to give Belmont an early base runner, but a caught stealing and double play ended the inning scoreless for the Bruins.
The Volunteers wasted no time taking the lead in the bottom of the fifth. UT scored three runs on two hits to take an early 3-0 lead. Tennessee plated two more runs in the bottom of the second, taking a 5-0 lead after two complete innings.
Belmont got on the board in the top of the third. Freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.) notched Belmont's second hit of the contest with a one out single to shallow center field, putting a man aboard for the Bruins. Taylor was out on the fielder's choice on the next play, but sophomore Jackson reached first base, keeping a base runner for the Bruins. Ehrhart then stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-out triple to the right field corner to score Campbell and cut the lead 5-1.
Junior Max Marcotte (Coventry, R.I.) took over the mound in the bottom of the third and kept Tennessee of the board for the first time, retiring the Vols in order. He remained on the mound for the fourth inning, pitching his second scoreless inning to keep the score 5-1 after four.
After a scoreless fifth inning, UT scored what would be its final run of the evening in the bottom of the sixth. The Bruins did a good job of holding the Volunteers to just one run in the inning with UT sending seven men to the plate.
The Bruins scored another run in the top of the seventh, cutting the UT lead 6-2. With one out, senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.), who was playing in front of a hometown crowd, ripped a single up the middle. With two outs and junior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) at the plate, Gardner used his speed to steal second, putting himself in scoring position. Severance took advantage, notching his first hit of the night to plate Gardner.
Both teams were retired in order in the eighth, sending the game to the final ninth inning. Belmont had a base runner when senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch, but he was stranded as Belmont dropped a 6-2 decision.
Belmont will be back in action this weekend for an Ohio Valley Conference series against Eastern Illinois University. First pitch at E.S. Rose Park is slated for 4:00 p.m. Friday, April 5th.