NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Part two of this year's Battle of the Boulevard belonged to Belmont University Baseball with a 10-1 route of Lipscomb Tuesday night. BU outhit the Bisons 11-8 with three Bruins notching multi-hit performances.
The Bruins came out of the gate blazing, taking the lead in the top of the first. Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) started off the night on a good note, working a nine pitch walk to put the leadoff man aboard. A base hit from senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) and another walk by junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) loaded the bases with no outs. The Bruins took advantage, when senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) delivered a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead. Belmont was unable to plate any more in the inning, but had the lead after the top of the first.
Starting pitcher, sophomore Korey Bell (Brentwood, Tenn.), set the tone for Belmont's defense in the bottom of the inning. Bell worked around a two-out base hit, notching a strikeout to end the Bisons' half of the inning scoreless.
Belmont continued its hot start in the top of the second. Freshman John Behrends (Chattanooga, Tenn.) put another runner in scoring position for Belmont with a one-out standup double. In danger of stranding a runner in scoring position, Ehrhart delivered a blooper to left center field just over the mitt of the shortstop that scored Belmont's second run of the night. Hadden increased Belmont's lead 3-0 with the second double of the inning, this time to the right center field gap to plate the final run of the inning.
Lipscomb put runners on base again in the bottom of the second, but the BU defense was up to the challenge. An impressive double play and punchout from pitcher freshman Aaron Hubbell (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) put another zero on the board for the Belmont defense.
The leadoff walk once again paid off for the Bruins in the top of the fourth. Behrends reached base for the second time with a leadoff walk and advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. An Ehrhart single through the right put Belmont runners on the corners with one out. A strikeout put two outs on the board for Belmont, but Behrends increased the BU lead 4-0 when he scored on a wild pitch.
With nothing doing in the fifth inning for either team, BU extended its lead in the top of the sixth. A one-out infield single by Behrends got the Belmont rally going. Sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) extended his hitting streak to six games with a base knock that put runners on first and second. Belmont would then load the bases by way of a walk. Lipscomb notched the second out of the inning with a strikeout, but the next batter, Adkins, wore a pitch with the bases loaded for a 5-0 lead. Gardner then recorded his second and third RBI of the night with a double to right center. With a 7-0 lead, Adkins scored from third on a wild pitch for the final run of the inning and an 8-0 BU lead.
Lipscomb was finally able to crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff walk and a couple of hits loaded the bases, Lipscomb was able to plate a run. The Belmont defense did a good job of limiting the damage, highlighted by a Campbell pickoff from behind the plate to get out of the inning with little damage.
The Bruins tacked on two more in the top of the eighth for a 10-1 lead. With one out, Gardner hammered his second double of the night with a ball that was just fair in the left field corner. Senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) got in on the hitting action when he crushed a long ball over the left field fence that plated two more. A strikeout and fly ball would end the inning, but Belmont had done its damage.
Sophomore Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.) took over the mound in the bottom of the eighth as BU's eighth pitcher of the night. Bowen was arguably Belmont's best arm of the night. In his inning and two-thirds of work, Bowen struck out four of the five batters he faced. Freshman Joshua Archer (Berthoud, Colo.) took over the mound for the final out of the inning, forcing a lineout to cap off the 10-1 Belmont victory.
Bell improved to 2-3 with the victory and Belmont extended its season-long winning streak to four games.
Belmont will be back in action this weekend at Tennessee Tech for an OVC series.