NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Junior right-handed hurler Tyler Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) orchestrated an impressive complete-game performance on the hill as Belmont baseball shined in a 10-1 victory over Eastern Illinois Thursday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
Five different Bruins logged multiple hits to help contribute to their 10-run win. Half of the team's runs came in the form of a long ball courtesy of three Bruins - senior Nick Egli (Brentwood, Tenn.), redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen (Franlin, Tenn.) and sophomore Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) . Junior Rafael Bournigal (Mulberry, Fla.) pieced together a 3-for-4 outing, while Egli reached base in all four of his plate appearances to highlight game one.
Belmont (15-17, 10-6) came out of the gates blazing to open the series as Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) only used up 13 pitches to register a swift pair of three up, three down frames. Sandwiched between Vaughn's first two trips to the mound, Egli launched a solo shot over the centerfield wall on the very first pitch he saw to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage.
BU continued to tack on the runs in the second, putting up two on a three-hit stanza. Senior Tyler Walsh (Zionsville, Ind.) got things started with a single through the left side before junior Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) wore a pitch to allow BU to threaten with one down. Belmont then constructed consecutive RBI hits to make it 3-0 before Eastern Illinois (7-26, 3-10) had even recorded a base runner. Senior Clay Payne (Powell, Tenn.) drilled a base shot up the middle to double the Bruins advantage before Bournigal sent a a two-bagger of his own to left center to plate the squad's third run.
Veteran's Egli and Walsh each registered their second hits of the contest while collectively making it three consecutive frames in which Belmont registered a run. Egli led off the third with a single to left field and would later advance to second on a throwing error by the Panthers. With two down, Walsh found favor with a bounce and collected a RBI double to put BU up, 4-0.
Vaughn continued to wreak havoc on the Panther batters through the first five innings. The Jonesboro, Ill. product registered three 1-2-3 stanzas, never relinquishing a single hit and only allowing two base runners on a walk and hit-by-pitch during that span. He collected five strikeouts while retiring 15 of the first 17 Panthers he faced. The righty's no-hit bid was broken up in the sixth after Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Govern sneaked a bunt to Vaughn who was unable to throw him out despite a diving snag to collect the ball.
Belmont separated themselves for good in the sixth frame, posting six runs with the help of back-to-back long balls and a couple of Panther miscues. Senior Drake Byrd (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) sparked the offense with a standup double before a single from Bournigal and consecutive EIU errors scored two runs. Cogen continued to ride on the one-pitch magic as he swung at the first thing he saw and lifted one over the right center wall for a three-run bomb. Holland duplicated Cogen's play by catapulting BU's third home run to right field and increased the Bruins lead, 10-0.
Everything continued to click for Vaughn on the mound as he compiled his fourth inning where he sat down the Panthers in order. It wouldn't be until the final frame that EIU could find an answer to Vaughn's potion. The Panthers collected three of their four hits in their final trip to the plate, scoring their lone run of the contest to make it a 10-1 game.
This afternoon's outing was the first time that a Bruin hurler would go the distance this season and it was only Vaughn's second career complete game performance. He finished the day with six strike outs, a pair of walks and one run on four hits to his name.
Belmont and Eastern Illinois will meet for game two of the series on Friday, April 14 at E.S. Rose Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.