Baseball Drops Game One at Kennesaw State In 10 Innings
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Belmont baseball team (26-15, 11-5) lost on a walk-off for the second straight game, falling to Kennesaw State (25-16, 11-5) by a score of 9-8 in 10 innings on Friday night. The Owls scored six unanswered runs to end the game and defeated the Bruins in the first tilt of the series.
Belmont was leading 8-3 heading into the eighth inning, recorded the first two outs of the frame, and then gave up four runs to allow Kennesaw State to pull within one, at 8-7. A triple and two doubles off of Belmont starter Chase Brookshire (Chattanooga, Tenn.) scored the first two runs for the Owls. KSU then tallied a single and another double off of reliever Austin Coley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) to come within one heading into the ninth.
After senior closer Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.) got Belmont out of the eighth inning jam with a ground out, Kennesaw State's Aaron Dobbs tied the game with one swing of the bat to lead off the ninth. His homer over the right field wall sent the game into extra innings. Fanchier came back in for his second full inning, and walked the first batter of the 10th. After getting the next two batters out, Jordan Craft recorded his first hit of the night, and drove in the game-winning run with a double off the left field wall.
Things were going the Bruins way through most of the game, as Brookshire had allowed only three runs against the Owls heading into the eighth. The left-hander finished with seven strikeouts and only one walk, giving the Bruin offense an opportunity to get out to a lead.
And a lead Belmont got out to, scoring three runs in the first inning, and another three in the fifth. As he has done so many times this season, senior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.) led off the game with a hit. Junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.) followed with a single, senior Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) walked, and sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.) singled to add to the Bruin offensive outburst in the first.
It was Mitchell igniting the offense once again in the fifth, doubling down the right field line. Craig walked again, before freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.) drove in two runs with a double off of the left field wall. Junior Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) then drove Beaty in with a single to center field, giving Belmont a 6-2 lead over the Owls.
Belmont finished its scoring for the night with two runs in the seventh to take an 8-3 lead. Three straight singles by Brody, Beaty, and Akers highlighted the inning. Beaty drove in four runs on the night, after going two-for-three and scoring two runs. Akers added three hits and two RBI, while Mitchell and Brody each tallied two hits in the loss.
The Bruins finished with eight runs on 12 hits and no errors. Brookshire allowed six runs on 10 hits, while striking out seven and walking only one in 7.2 innings. Fanchier fell to 1-3 on the season after his second straight blown save. He allowed two runs on two hits, while striking out one and walking three.
Kennesaw State totaled nine runs on 14 hits and three errors. Colton Cross improved to 4-1 on the year after allowing no runs on no hits in the final two outs of the top of the 10th. Peyton Hart went a perfect four-for-four, while Will Howard added three hits in the victory.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday. Belmont and Kennesaw State will square off at 1:00 p.m. CT in Kennesaw, Ga. Senior captain Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) will take the mound for the Bruins.