NOTE: TOMORROW'S GAME IS NOW SET FOR 12:00 P.M. DUE TO APPROACHING WEATHER CONCERNS.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont baseball won its second-consecutive game on Saturday, defeating Eastern Kentucky 6-4.
Belmont improved to 2-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play while EKU dropped to 0-2.
Senior Connor Etheridge (Springfield, Ill.) got off to a hot start on the mound for the Bruins. Belmont retired the first three Colonels in order, including a strike out to end the inning. Etheridge pitched five and two-thirds innings, striking out seven and only walking one.
After a leadoff double by senior Cully Day (Mahomet, Ill.) and a walk by junior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.), BU made an early threat with runners on first and third with two outs, but the base runners were stranded.
Both squad's struggled early to get any offensive momentum until Belmont struck in the bottom of the third. After Day was hit by a pitch to advance to first, junior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) blasted his first long ball of the season past the left field fence for a two-run homer to give BU an early advantage.
The Colonels responded quickly, starting off the fourth inning with two base hits and taking advantage of a wild pitch to get back a run. Eastern Kentucky kept things going in the top of the fifth, scoring two more runs after a two-run homer of their own. After scoring again in the top of the sixth, the Colonels found themselves with a 4-2 lead after six innings.
The Bruins responded with a big seventh inning to earn the victory. Sophomore Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) started the inning off with a single to right field to become BU's first base runner of the inning. The next three Belmont batters were hit by a pitch and walked which send Cogen home to put the pressure on the Colonels' defense.
Senior Kyle Conger (Brentwood, Tenn.) stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Conger blasted a clutch single to left field that drove in Hadden and senior Ben Kocher (Zionsville, Ind.) to regain the lead. Belmont would round out the scoring with another single RBI by junior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) to score senior Austin Reynolds (Smyrna, Tenn.).
Sophomore Jack Rettig (Mahomet, Ill.) pitched an inning of relief for the Bruins. Freshman Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) pitched an inning and a third, only allowing one along with no hits and no walks to earn the victory on the night. Logan Bowen (Bowling Green, Ky.) threw the final inning for the Bruins, retiring the Colonels in order to earn his third save of his freshman campaign.
Belmont out-hit EKU 12-7 and recorded 10 strike outs.
Eastern Kentucky will return to Rose Park for the series finale Sunday, March 10. First pitch has been moved to 12:00 due to approaching weather.