Baseball Escapes Western Kentucky With 6-5 Victory

Josh Davis

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Belmont baseball team (14-8, 2-1) defeated Western Kentucky (8-12, 1-2) by a score of 6-5 on the road Tuesday evening.  Junior Josh Davis (Fayetteville, Ga.) improved to 4-1 on the season with the win, allowing two runs on five hits in the start.

The Bruins got on the board early with a pair of runs in the first.  Senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) both tallied RBI singles in the frame to give Belmont a 2-0 lead.  The Hilltoppers got one back in the bottom of the inning, recording a couple of singles, and driving in a run on a ground out to short.

Western Kentucky tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, but Belmont countered with four runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 6-2 lead midway through the contest.  The Bruins took advantage of lead off walks in both innings.

Junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) walked to start the fourth, and after singles by freshman Alec Diamond (Kennesaw, Ga.) and sophomore William Dodd (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), he scored on a sacrifice fly by senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.).

The fifth actually opened with two walks.  After Beaty tallied his first sacrifice bunt of the year, advancing sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.) and junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) to third and second, respectively, Turner drove in the former with a single to right center.  The latter then scored on a WKU balk to make it 5-2 Belmont.

Diamond's second single of the game was followed by another sacrifice fly, this time by Dodd.  The Belmont left fielder drove in Turner from third for his 10th RBI of the season.  The six runs would prove to be enough to give the Bruins the victory, but the Hilltoppers came back to make it close.

WKU tallied one run in the bottom of the fifth and two in the sixth to cut the Bruin lead to one at 6-5.  Freshman Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.) came in with one out in the seventh inning, recording the next five outs while allowing only one hit to get the Bruins to the ninth inning on top.

Senior closer Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.) was then called on once again to give BU the victory.  The right-hander recorded a one-two-three inning to pick up his seventh save of the season and give Belmont the 6-5 victory on the road Tuesday.

The Bruins totaled six runs on nine hits and two errors.  Davis improved to 4-1 on the season in the win, and is now 11-4 in his career.  His .733 career winning percentage is the third best in Belmont history.  Fanchier's seven saves already put him in Belmont's all-time top ten for single-season and career saves.

Akers and Diamond led Belmont at the plate with two hits each.  Akers went two-for-four and tallied his team-best 10th double of the year, while Diamond recorded his first multi-hit game as a Belmont Bruin.

The Hilltoppers finished with five runs on 11 hits and two errors.  Brennan Pearson fell to 0-1 on the season after allowing four runs on four hits and walking three in two innings of relief.  Ivan Hartle and Jared Andreoli each tallied three hits to lead WKU at the plate.

Belmont will stay on the road, playing at Murray State on Wednesday.  The Bruins and Thoroughbreds are scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. first pitch in Murray, Ky.