Bruins Set NCAA First Inning Run Record in 24-3 Game One Victory, Win Game Two 14-5
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (27-21, 14-10) set an NCAA record with 19 first inning runs, defeating UT-Martin (18-27, 9-8) by a score of 24-3 in the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader at Rose Park in Nashville.
The first 15 batters for the Bruins recorded hits and ended up scoring in that record setting first inning. Belmont scored 14 runs before the Skyhawks were able to record the first out of the frame, as BU batted around twice. Five Belmont players hit home runs in the game, including the first career homer by junior Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.).
"It's just a testament to our players' mental focus at the plate," Head Coach Dave Jarvis said. "These guys keep putting in quality at bat after quality at bat, and it paid off in that first inning for us." It's great to set a record like that, but these next six conference games are what is really important at this point."
The Bruins topped the previous record of 18 first inning runs, set by Air Force against Metro State. The NCAA record for most runs in any inning is 21 held by Wichita State and Pennsylvania, each coming in the sixth inning of 1984 and 1983 games, respectively.
Senior Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) led the Bruins with three hits and a home run, all coming in that first inning, as BU finished with 19 hits in the seven inning contest. Woods also recorded the win on the mound, after allowing one unearned run on one hit in 4.0 innings pitched.
The first two batters of the historic first inning walked on a total of nine pitches before Woods singled to center. The next two batters were then hit by pitches, which was followed by a three RBI double by freshman Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.). Brody doubled twice in the first game, and added two more in the back end of the doubleheader, to give the second baseman 15 on the season.
It took until the third Skyhawk pitcher before an out was recorded in the first inning. The Bruins recorded four of their five home runs in the record setting outing, with jacks by Mitchell, senior Derek Hamblen (Plano, Texas), Matt Zeblo (Raleigh, N.C.), and Woods.
Belmont scored only five runs in the five innings after the first inning, which was highlighted by freshman Spencer Petett's (Tompkinsville, Ky.) first career home run. The BU catcher's sixth inning homer bounced off of the top of the center field fence and then over to give the Bruins the 14-5 victory.
Hidden behind all of the Belmont offense in the first game was a two-hitter by the BU pitching staff. Woods allowed only one hit, before senior Dalton Bell (Crossville, Tenn.) and sophomore Dan Huenecke (Palatine, Ill.) recorded hitless fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Junior Brandon Frensley (Hendersonville, Tenn.) closed out the game allowing one hit in the seventh.
Belmont went on to win the second game of the doubleheader by a score of 14-5 to complete the sweep of UT-Martin on Wednesday. The Bruins tallied another 15 hits in the victory, giving them 34 for the day.
Brody and junior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) led BU with three hits a piece in Game Two, including Brody's aforementioned pair of doubles. Zeblo also doubled, while sophomore Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) and senior Tim Egerton (Smyrna, Tenn.) homered to help lead Belmont at the plate. The latter now leads the Bruins with 10 homers on the year.
Freshman James Buckelew (Suwanee, Ga) picked up the win in the second game after allowing two runs on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Senior Jon Ivie came in for the seventh to close out the game, allowing no runs on two hits giving BU the 14-5 victory.
The Bruins will next host Florida Gulf Coast in a three game Atlantic Sun Conference series this weekend. The Eagles are 11-13 in conference play and are currently in eighth place. The first tilt of the series is set for Friday at 6:00 p.m. at Rose Park.