NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball defeated Mercer 10-4 on Saturday at E.S. Rose Park.
The action got started early with Mercer taking a 1-0 lead after the top half of the second, but Belmont responded immediately. Senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) sent a leadoff double to deep center field in the bottom of the second. Holland then tagged up to third on a fly out and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman John Behrends (Chattanooga, Tenn.) to tie things up 1-1.
Mercer kept the scoring theme going with a two-run homer in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead. The Bears' momentum was stifled when sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) caught a runner stealing to end the inning.
Campbell kept his momentum going in the bottom of the third with a leadoff home run that cut the Mercer lead 3-2 after three complete innings. The long ball action continued in the top of the fourth when Holland hammered a ball past the left field fence to tie the game 3-3.
The game wasn't tied for long as a leadoff single by Mercer eventually came around to score for a 4-3 lead. With the Bears threatening to blow the game open, freshman Joshua South (Cookeville, Tenn.) forced a fly ball to get out of the fourth inning with little damage.
After two scoreless innings, the momentum of the game completely changed to the Bruins' favor. Relief pitcher, junior Justin Fowlkes (Collierville, Tenn.), retired Mercer in order in the top of the seventh, putting BU in a good position for a rally.
Belmont used a big seventh inning to blow the game open. Leadoff man, junior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) started the rally when he reached base after being hit by a pitch. A walk and an error would load the bases for the Bruins with no outs. Campbell then drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to tie the game 4-4. Belmont's offensive assault continued with consecutive base hits from junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) that scored two more runs. A double from senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) scored the final two runs of the inning to give BU an 8-4 lead after seven complete innings.
BU scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out rally. Campbell was hit by a pitch and freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.) hammered another home run for a 10-4 lead.
Sophomore Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) finished out the game on the mound for the Bruins, shutting down Mercer in the final two innings to preserve the 10-4 victory.
The series finale will be Sunday, May 12 at 1:00 p.m. CT. Belmont's six seniors will be recognized in a pregame ceremony.