MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball defeated Middle Tennessee State 5-4 Wednesday afternoon after a late surge by the Blue Raiders fell short.
Sophomore Stone Selby (Hohenwald, Tenn.) started on the mound for the first time this season for the Bruins. His outing started with three groundouts in the bottom of the first inning to keep MTSU off the board. Selby was impressive again in the bottom of the second, working around a couple of base hits to keep MTSU off the board through two complete.
Belmont broke the deadlock in the top of the third. Freshman John Behrends (Chattanooga, Tenn.) started the inning with a base hit that senior Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) followed up with a base knock of his own to put runners on first and second with no outs. A successful sacrifice bunt from senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) set up junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) to deliver a sacrifice fly to give Belmont a 1-0 lead.
Selby once again showed poise and worked around a leadoff double in the bottom of the third to preserve the 1-0 lead through three.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Belmont plated its second run in the top of the fifth. Behrends scored once again after working a leadoff walk to ge3t aboard. Gardner and Ehrhart delivered consecutive base hits that pushed Ehrhart across home plate for a 2-0 lead. Relief pitcher sophomore Chandler Schultz (Nashville, Tenn.) held the Blue Raiders hitless in the bottom of the fifth, keeping the 2-0 Belmont lead.
Belmont would take a 3-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Logan Jarvis (Franklin, Tenn.) manufactured a run after blasting a one out double and advancing to third on an MTSU error. He would eventually score on a balk for the 3-0 lead.
MTSU put the Bruins in a bit of a jam in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on first and second. Junior Michael Matter (Ft. Myers, Fla.) was called out of the bullpen and delivered, forcing a ground ball that ended the inning.
After neither team scored in the seventh or eighth innings, Belmont got back on the board in the top of the ninth and scored two important runs. Junior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Gardner reached base on an error and a walk respectively and scored when Ehrhart delivered a base-clearing double to give Belmont a 5-0 lead.
Middle Tennessee attempted to stage a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring four runs. Belmont got the final putout in dramatic fashion, throwing out the tying run at home plate to secure the 5-4 victory.
Belmont Baseball will be back in action March 8 for a three-game weekend series against Morehead State to open conference play. First pitch of the series is slated for 4:00 p.m. CT.