NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Quality at bats and clutch pitching boosted Belmont University Baseball to a 9-5 victory over conference rival Tennessee Tech on Sunday afternoon.
Belmont got started on a high note with its leadoff batter, senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet) sending a long ball over the right field fence on the first swing of the day. With the early lead, the Bruins kept pounding the ball, notching another home run in the inning. This time, senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) sent a two-run bomb over the left field fence to give Belmont a 3-0 lead after the first half inning.
Sophomore Korey Bell (Brentwood, Tenn.) kept the Golden Eagles off the board through the first inning, preserving the Belmont lead.
Tennessee Tech got its bats going in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on four hits to take a 4-3 lead. A one-run bottom of the third for Tennessee Tech put BU at a 5-3 deficit.
The Bruins got back in the scoring column in the top of the fifth. After three-consecutive walks loaded the bases, Holland worked a walk. With nowhere to put him, Belmont cut the deficit 5-4.
Belmont blew the lead open in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) got things going with a one-out single to shallow center. Ehrhart then laid down a picture-perfect bunt for a hit and junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) was walked to load the bases. With two outs, senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) delivered a timely single to left field that scored two runs to take a 6-5 lead. Holland's bat stayed hot as he hammered his second homerun of the day. This three-run long ball gave Belmont a 9-5 lead.
Junior Justin Fowlkes (Collierville, Tenn.) threw five impressive relief innings, giving up just two runs. Fowlkes gave way to freshman Aaron Hubbell (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) in the bottom of the seventh. Hubbell shut the door, throwing two-consecutive three up, three down innings to keep BU on top.
Belmont held the 9-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. The Golden Eagles put two base runners on with a hit and a walk and Belmont called on sophomore Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) for the final out. Brennan capped off the victory with a strikeout for his seventh save on the season.
Fowlkes improved to 3-0 on the season and BU improved to 16-8 in OVC play.
Belmont will be back on the diamond for a midweek matchup at Evansville May 1. First pitch is slated for 5:00 p.m. CT.