COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Baseball dropped a 9-6 decision to Tennessee Tech in an Ohio Valley Conference battle Saturday afternoon at Bush Stadium.
Belmont took the early lead for the first time in the back-and-forth game in the top of the second. Senior Hunter Holland (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) got things going by working a one-out walk. After a wild pitch and stolen base, Holland found himself just 90 feet from home plate. Freshman John Behrends (Chattanooga, Tenn.) picked up the first RBI of the day when he delivered a double to left field that gave BU the 1-0 advantage. The Bruins ultimately stranded runners on second and third in the inning, but the run gave them an early lead.
Freshman Joshua South (Cookeville, Tenn.) found the strike zone early and often in his hometown, retiring the Golden Eagles in order in the first and second, notching four strikeouts in the process.
Tennessee Tech took its first lead of the night in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on three hits to make the score 3-1.
The Bruins responded immediately with an impressive fourth inning. After a leadoff single from freshman Grayson Taylor (Cullman, Ala.), senior Hagan Severance (Brentwood, Tenn.) hammered a long ball past the left field fence to tie the game up. Senior Zach Ehrhart (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) then got in on the action blasting his first homerun of the season for a 4-3 lead.
The home runs were contagious, as Tennessee Tech tied the game yet again with a solo shot for a 4-4 score after four complete.
After a scoreless fifth inning, BU got back on the board in the top of the sixth. Consecutive base knocks from Behrends and sophomore Jackson Campbell (Russellville, Tenn.) set up an RBI situation. Senior Chas Hadden (Morristown, Tenn.) delivered with a hit up the middle on a full count to plate both base runners for a 6-4 lead.
Tennessee Tech got one run back in the bottom of the inning with another homer to cut the BU lead 6-5. The momentum swung in the Golden Eagles' favor for the remainder of the game. Belmont struggled offensively and Tennessee Tech took advantage. A two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh gave TTU a 7-6 lead. The home team would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the day, scoring two more in the bottom of the eighth to cement the 9-6 victory.
The series will be determined tomorrow with a decisive game three. First pitch at Bush Stadium is slated for 1:00 p.m. CT.