Saturday, March 03, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont offense continued its hot week at the plate, and head coach Dave Jarvis recorded his 400th win with the Bruins, as the team (5-5) split a Saturday doubleheader against Butler (3-6) at Rose Park. Belmont won the first contest by a score of 12-4, and dropped game two 8-7.
The Bruins first got on the board in game one thanks to a lead off single from junior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) and a double to the right field line by junior Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.). Both players later scored on a wild pitch and an error, respectively.
Belmont added another three runs in the third inning to increase the lead to 5-0. Mitchell doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.). Freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) then drove another two runs on a shot to center field, his first career triple.
With two outs in the fifth inning, BU added to its lead by loading the bases on a hit by pitch, a single by junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.), a walk, and a two-run single by junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.).
The Bruins all but put the game away with four more scores in the sixth inning. A number of walks, hit by pitches, and wild pitches surrounded a pair of singles by freshman Alec Diamond (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Breen, which highlighted the Belmont frame.
BU capped its scoring in the game, increasing the lead to 12-0, when Craig doubled to left center, driving in Mitchell. Craig drove in three runs to lead the Bruins, while Mitchell, Breen, and Akers each recorded three hits in the win.
Junior Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) had another successful outing on the mound, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, before giving up a single to Austin Miller. The Belmont left-hander picked up the win, improving to 1-1 on the year, after allowing no runs on only one hit. Brookshire struck out a season-best eight batters and walked only two.
Belmont got out to a similarly strong start in game two, taking a 5-1 lead after three innings. Mitchell led the first inning off with a double to left center, tallying one of his five hits on the day. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Breen, and scored on a single by Craig to tie the game at 1-1.
After no scoring in the second, the Bruins poured in four runs in the third. It was once again Mitchell leading the charge, opening the frame with his second triple of the season. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Breen. A single by Craig, an error, a fielder's choice, and a wild pitch preceded another couple of key hits by Beaty and Turner. The former recorded an RBI double, while the latter tallied an RBI single to give Belmont the lead.
The Bulldogs took the lead back from the Bruins in the sixth inning, due to a number of Belmont miscues. An error on Mitchell at second base, and a high fly ball that was lost in the sun and the wind by Turner, extended what would have been a scoreless sixth. Instead, Butler took a 6-5 lead after five and a half.
The fight wasn't out of the Bruins, though, as Belmont regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. The catalyst was once again Mitchell, who got the rally started with an infield single. After stealing second, he scored yet again on a single to left center by Craig. Craig then stole second, and was driven home on a single by sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.).
The back and forth ended when Butler's Mike Hoscheit homered to right field to take the lead for the final time, at 8-7. The Bulldogs' Brad Schnitzer improved to 2-0 on the mound after allowing no runs on three hits in two innings of relief. Chase Byerly picked up his second save after coming in to close out the ninth.
Belmont's Josh Davis (Fayetteville, Ga.) fell to 1-1 on the season, but an impressive 8-4 in his career after giving up the home run in the eighth. Senior captain Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) allowed six runs, including the five scores in the sixth, but only one was earned in his 5.2 innings of action. Hamann struck out five batters, and the Bruins walked no batters as a staff in the loss. In his fourth appearance, freshman Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.) allowed no runs on zero hits.
Craig finished with four hits, two RBI, and two runs to lead Belmont at the plate in the loss. Mitchell tallied three hits and three runs scored, while Brody, Beaty, and Turner each recorded two hits.