NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An offensive powered Friday night extended Belmont University Baseball's winning streak to five games after defeating Tennessee Tech 11-7. The night was highlighted by three-hit performances by seniors Devon Gardner (Maryville, Tenn.) and Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) to back up another stellar outing from starting pitcher Casey Queener (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Belmont got hot early, scoring two quick runs in the top of the first. A walk and a hit batsman gave BU two early base runners. Holland then delivered his first of three extra-base hits of the night with a triple that gave Belmont a 2-0 lead.
Queener settled in early, holding TTU's high octane offense to no hits and no runs in the first inning.
Belmont continued to tack on to its lead in the top of the second. Junior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) fought back from down in the count and worked a leadoff walk and stole second. The leadoff walk came around and scored for a 3-0 BU lead when sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Ky.) singled to right field.
After a scoreless third, the Golden Eagles cut into Belmont's lead, scoring a run after a wild pitch got away from the Belmont catcher and allowed a score to run.
With a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth, the Bruins blew open its lead. A leadoff single from Gardner and a double from Holland put BU runners on second and third. Freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.) then delivered a double that plated both runs for a 5-1 lead. Taylor scored later in the inning on an RBI groundout, giving Belmont a 6-1 lead after the visitor's half of the sixth.
Tennessee Tech was determined to keep the pressure on the Bruins and scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead 6-4.
BU's offense continued to be steady, scoring again in the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk by senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) and junior Chandler Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) double set up a sacrifice fly situation. Holland then delivered the fly ball for a 7-4 lead.
After six innings and just three earned runs, Queener gave way to sophomore Kyle Brennan (Franklin, Tenn.) on the mound. Brennan came into the game with the opportunity to notch his fourth save in as many outings. Inheriting two base runners, Brennan pitched out of the mini jam in the bottom of the seventh, striking out two Golden Eagles.
Belmont put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth, scoring four runs on four hits. The inning was highlighted by a Campbell solo home run to right center field. Gardner, Holland and defensive replacement sophomore Logan Jarvis (Franklin, Tenn.) all notched hits in the inning, giving Belmont an 11-4 lead.
The Golden Eagles scored a run in the bottom of the eighth and two in the bottom of the ninth, but they weren't enough to top Belmont.
With tonight's victory, the Bruins improved to 15-7 in OVC play and take sole possession of first place.
The weekend series will continue April 27 with first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. at Bush Stadium.