NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Belmont baseball embarks on its first road trip of the season where it will meet No. 17 Georgia Tech for a three game series, March 3-5. The Bruins will play at the Yellow Jackets home field, Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on Friday.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
Belmont opened the 2017 campaign with an eight-game home stand, boasting a 4-4 overall record during that span. The Bruins have won four of their last five contests, including most recently outlasting Southern Illinois, 18-17, to closeout February. This weekend will be the squad's first road trip of the season, last year BU collected a 13-9 mark away from its home turf.
Belmont's offense continues to be powered by redshirt-freshman Matt Cogen (Franklin, Tenn.) who has been nearly unstoppable at the plate. The rookie has posted six multi-hit games, including registering three in the team's last three contests. Cogen remains second in the OVC standings, batting a team-best .536 while going 15-for-28. He's the only Bruin to record more than seven hits and leads the conference in the category. Behind Cogen, BU has seen crucial offensive contributions from multiple veterans. Senior duo Drake Byrd (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and Nick Egli (Brentwood, Tenn.) have each connected on three two baggers, while senior Brennan Washington (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) is the lone Bruin to launch multiple home runs - recording three and registering a team-best nine RBIs.
The pitching staff is headed by sophomore Dylan King (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and junior Tyler Vaughn (Jonesboro, Ill.) who have hurled a combined 37 strikeouts. Altogether, the pitching staff sits second in the conference totaling 83 Ks, one short of UT Martin who sits atop the league. This weekend's starters - King, Vaughn and Connor Etheridge (Springfield, Ill.) - account for 48 strikeouts. King has an ERA of 0.75, only allowing one run in 12 innings of work. The Bruins have also seen extensive production from their bullpen with 10 different pitchers taking the hill for Belmont. Senior righty Dom Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) triggered his first save of the year against Bowling Green, sitting down the Falcons final three batters.
Sophomore right-hander Dylan King will face his brother, Jonathon King, a redshirt-senior left-handed hurler who plays for the Ramblin' Wreck. After sitting out 2016 due to injury, Jonathon has tossed 0.2 innings this season. This will be the first time that the two have played each other since starting their college careers.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
While entering his 20th season with the Bruins, head coach Dave Jarvis will be accompanied by his middle son, Logan, for the 2017 season. Logan joins the squad as a freshman from Franklin, Tennessee. Coach Jarvis and Logan are the first father-son duo to go through Belmont Athletics.
The Bruins have registered a double in seven of its first eight contests, including connecting on at least two in the last six consecutive games. They hold a 4-2 mark when recording multiple two-base shots.
10 AND 2
Sporting No. 10 for the Bruins, senior Clay Payne (Powell, Tenn.), is the driving force of Belmont's defense playing position 2 (catcher). Payne has started behind the plate in every game this season, tallying 83 putouts and has caught a pair of runners attempting to steal. The Powell, Tennessee product will look to break the Yellow Jackets perfect 10-for-10 record when stealing a base.
KING OF THE HILL
King had a career-best performance on the mound against Northwestern (2.25), retiring 11 Wildcats via strikeout topping his previous record of 8 Ks in the opening weekend. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee product sat down 10 batters - including seven consecutive - through the first three innings. One-hundred and ten pitches in and King was still dealing, triggering his 11th strikeout of the day in the sixth frame. After two starts this season the hurler has tossed a team-best 19 strikeouts, ranking him second in the OVC.
After sitting out his first season with Belmont, Cogen has posted six multi-hit games through the squad's first eight contests. The Franklin, Tenn. native is batting an impressive .536, going 15-for-28 at the plate. He's currently tied for the second-best batting average and has collected the most hits in the league. Cogen also sits second in the OVC boasting an on-base percentage of .606.
WALK IT OUT
Sophomore first baseman Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) etched his name in the Belmont baseball record book in his rookie season after registering a program-best 61 walks in a single season. The Morristown, Tennessee native finished the year ranking fourth in the nation for base on balls. His combination of walks and a batting average of .370 brought his on-base percentage to .521, the seventh highest OB% in the country. Hadden's picked up right where he left off, earning six free rides to first in the first seven games of the season. Hadden currently leads the team this season with eight walks.
All three games this weekend will be broadcasted on the ACC Network Extra (ESPN3). You can also follow our twitter page, @belmontbaseball, as well as live stats at ramblinwreck.com for in-game updates. Links for both stats and video are provided below.