DeLand, Fla. - Belmont (31-24, 16-13 A-Sun) picked up a big 5-2 win over No. 17 Stetson (40-15, 23-6 A-Sun) Friday night at Melching Field. It was Senior Night at the ballpark. Seniors Jeff Simpson, Sean Emory, and Justin Dechert were honored for their efforts over the past five seasons.
The Hatters have already wrapped up the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title and a #1 seed in next week's tournament. The Bruins, however, will be playing hard for a win tomorrow while scoreboard watching to see how Florida Gulf Coast does against Lipscomb. A win for Belmont and it is in the tournament. A loss coupled with a FGCU win would allow the Eagles to slip past the Bruins for the final spot in the championship.
Belmont jumped out to a three run lead before Stetson scored single runs in the 5th and 8th innings. Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) led the Hatters with a 2-for-3 night with an RBI. Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) knocked in the other run on a ground out. Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Mitchel Brennan (Orlando, Fla.) each had a single and Trey Blackman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) had the only extra base hit for the Hatters, a double in the 9th inning.
Will Dorsey (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) took the loss for Stetson and fell to 6-5 on the season. He tossed 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while strikming out four batters. Bruins starter Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) earned the win with an eight-inning effort and raised his mark to 8-1.
Stetson and Belmont will return to Melching Field Saturday at 1:00 p.m. to complete the regular season. Stetson fans can see the game on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.