NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 8 Vanderbilt Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.
The game was a defensive battle from the start with starting pitcher freshman Aaron Hubbell retiring the Commodores in order in the top of the first with just five pitches. In the bottom of the first, senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) started Belmont off on a positive note, working a walk. Freshman Grayson Taylor (Madison, Ala.) kept the momentum going with a single to center field that pushed Ehrhart into scoring position. With the Bruins knocking on the door, Vanderbilt notched a couple strikeouts to end the inning, stranding two Belmont runners.
The Commodores opened the night's scoring in the top of the second with a solo home run to take a 1-0 lead after two innings. Belmont's defense continued to be impressive, keeping Vanderbilt off the board for the next three innings.
Ehrhart was once again a spark in the Belmont offense in the bottom of the third when he notched a one-out infield single. He was stranded, however, and Belmont was held off through three complete.
Looking to get on the board in the bottom of the fifth, senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) had Belmont's third hit of the night and stole second, putting the tying run in scoring position. Vanderbilt's defense rose to the occasion again and left Holland at second. Belmont still trailed, but kept the game within striking distance, trailing 1-0 after five complete innings.
Vanderbilt took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth, scoring one run on two hits in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) gave Belmont another base runner, working a walk, but was unable to cross home plate.
After holding Vanderbilt off the board in the seventh, Belmont tried to manufacture a run in the bottom of the inning after senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) worked a walk. Belmont was held off in the inning when Hadden was thrown out on a fielder's choice.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Vanderbilt scored its final run of the game in the top of the ninth to take a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, freshman Tommy Crider (Cullman, Ala.) tried to start a late rally for the Bruins with a leadoff double down the left field line. Crider advanced to third on the next play, but a groundout would end the game and Belmont would ultimately drop a 3-0 victory.
Seven Belmont pitchers saw action in the midweek matchup. Hubbell and sophomore Stone Selby both threw two innings. Selby was effective on the mound for the Bruins, striking out four batters and allowing no runs in his two innings of work.
Belmont will be back in action this weekend for a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against SIUE.