DeLand, Fla. - The bad news is that No. 17 Stetson (40-16, 23-7 A-Sun) ended the season on a sour note with an 11-5 loss to Belmont (32-24, 17-13 A-Sun) Saturday at Melching Field. The good news is that the Hatters are still the No. 1 seed in next week's Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament after a 40-win season, a regular-season title, and four more victories than any other A-Sun team in conference play.
With the win today Belmont qualified for the post-season tournament in Nashville as the No. 6 seed. The Bruins will face Stetson on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. eastern time in the tournament's first game. Including this weekend's 2-1 series loss, the Hatters are 16-15 all-time against the Bruins.
The Hatters will hope to improve upon today's uncharacteristically poor play. Defensively Stetson committed a season-high eight errors that led to six unearned runs for the Bruins.
Stetson scored single runs in the first and third innings and then, down 9-2 the Hatters put up three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to get the game within reach. Belmont, however, added two more in the top of the ninth to complete the scoring.
Spencer Theisen (Longwood, Fla.) and Mitchel Brennan (Orlando, Fla.) led the Hatters with two hits each. Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Trey Blackman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) each knocked in a pair of runs.
Stetson starter Austin Perez (Loxahatchee, Fla.) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits over 2.1 innings. He is now 2-2 on the season. Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) improved to 6-5 for the Bruins with a 5.0 inning effort allowing two runs on four hits.
Stetson leaves for Nashville Monday morning to prepare for the league championship tournament that begins Wednesday. Every game in the double-elimination tournament will be available for viewing free of charge on A-Sun TV. Hatters fans can find the games at www.atlanticsun.org, or by looking for a link at www.GoHatters.com.