COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball got out to a hot start, but struggled to get their bats going in the latter half of the game as Tennessee Tech remained undefeated at home in conference play. The Golden Eagles slipped past the Bruins, 3-2, in game one Saturday evening at Bush Stadium.
All five of the runs scored in the contest came in the first four frames before both Belmont (22-22, 14-11) and Tennessee Tech (33-14, 19-3) anchored down and produced five scoreless innings. Redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) highlight the Bruins rather sparse offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate, collecting both hits in his first two at bats. The rookie also added a RBI to his line – driving in BU's first run.
Both the Bruins and the Golden Eagles took advantage of a rain soaked outfield to collect the first trio of runs. Tennessee Tech started the scoring efforts, crossing a pair in the home half of the second after loading the bases with no one down. Matt Jones and David Garza each brought in a run in back-to-back plate appearances to put Tech up, 2-0. Belmont responded with a run of their own in the next frame as Cogen connected on his second hit for a RBI single that ricocheted off the second base bag to allow the run to score.
Sophomore Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) helped BU tie the game up with a leadoff two-bagger that painted the left field line and later made his way to third on a passed ball to threaten early. In the next at bat Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) grounded into shortstop and recorded a RBI of his own to temporarily knot it up, 2-2.
The Golden Eagles quickly reclaimed the advantage after stringing together consecutive hits. A single to centerfield allowed a base runner for Garza to once again push across a run, this time he did so via a double to right-centerfield and give TTU a 3-2 lead that they'd never relinquish.
Sophomore Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) broke up BU's cold spell at the plate, becoming the first Bruin to make it aboard in their previous 14 attempts. The first baseman collected an extra base shot with a double that rolled down the right field line to put Belmont in scoring position with just one away, but TTU reliever Ethan Roberts would come in and strikeout a pair to end the frame and halt BU's scoring hopes keeping the Golden Eagles up a run, 3-2.
Tennessee Tech would go on to get their final eight outs all via strikeout as Belmont struggled to get its bats going for the rest of the outing.
Belmont will face Tennessee Tech for game two on Sunday, May 7 at Bush Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.