The baseball team drops two games to Kansas after Opening Day victory
Sports

The baseball team drops two games to Kansas after Opening Day victory

The Belmont baseball team gave their all against the Kansas Jayhawks, losing the last two games of their opening three-game series.

The Bruins won 6-0 Friday and lost Saturday and Sunday with scores of 5-1 and 7-6 respectively.

“We competed extremely well in all three of these games. The pitching staff has shown me no surprises, and I know they will be very sound,” Coach Dave Jarvis said. “Offensively, I think we’re going to evolve and get better. Defensively, we made two errors but those were the only two made the whole series. We can eliminate those in the future.”

In game one, the Bruins came out on top with a 6-0 shutout. Sophomore pitcher and Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year Joshua South took home his first win of the season, striking out seven in six innings. Sophomore relief pitcher Aaron Hubbell came in the seventh, earning his first career save with four strikeouts.

Sophomore Joshua South on Opening Day.

After two lackluster innings, junior Logan Jarvis shot a line drive into right field in the bottom of the third for a base hit. Sophomore Tommy Crider came up and crushed a two-run home run into deep left field, giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead. This was Crider’s fourth career home run and first of the season.

With a sacrifice fly from Jarvis in the third to bring another run around, two singles in the sixth a Kansas error Belmont showed no signs of stopping. The score halted in the eighth inning when freshman Brodey Heaton flied out to center field, allowing senior Hagan Severance to speed home and setting the score at 6-0.

Game two brought out some disappointment with Kansas winning 5-1 on Saturday. Logan Bowen took the loss with four strikeouts.

Kansas immediately scored in the first inning with a leadoff double then a run-off single. Belmont responded in the second inning when Tommy Crider screamed a line drive down the left field line, bringing in Jarvis to tie the game up 1-1.

After the exciting hit, Belmont didn’t score the rest of the game. Kansas eventually scored in the sixth with a go-ahead home run from James Cosentino. After rallying in the eighth with three bases-loaded walks, Kansas took the win, leaving behind a question of who would win the tied 1-1 series.

After a nail-biting game three, the Bruins couldn’t quite overcome the Jayhawks, falling short with a score of 7-6 on Sunday.

Kyle Brennan led the team with pitching, putting up five strikeouts and allowing four hits in three innings.

Kansas once again put hits on the board with a leadoff single after a Belmont error. Immediately after, the Jayhawks hacked back-to-back home runs, leaving the Bruins stunned at 5-0.

It didn’t take Belmont long to respond. In the bottom of the third, sophomore John Behrends brought in an RBI followed by Crider smashing his second home run of the series and fifth career to tie the game at 5-5. 

Sophomore Tommy Crider

The momentum was lost in the fourth when Kansas knocked brought in another run off of a double and then another home run in the seventh.

The score stood at 7-5 when Belmont returned to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Jackson Campbell cranked a solo home run to left field to bring the score to 7-6, but it was the last for the Bruins as Kansas made a double play with a strikeout and a throw to second base to stop an attempted steal.

Even with the back-to-back losses, coach Jarvis is focused on the next game. 

“We got a good program in SIU-Carbondale coming in on Tuesday night, so that’s our next focus,” Jarvis said. “As we look toward the weekend, we have good opponents coming in, Samford and three from the Missouri Valley. These steps are a good way to prepare us for our OVC conference play.”

Belmont will return to E. S. Rose Park to play Southern Illinois at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Article written by Laura Privot. Photos by Julieann Challacombe.

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