The loss was Stetson’s fourth straight overall. The Hatters are now 15-7 on the year, 0-1 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. Belmont improved to 15-9 overall, 3-1 in league play. The teams will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Stetson junior starting pitcher Kurt Schluter (4-1) tasted defeat for the first time since late in his freshman season, snapping what was a national best 13-game win streak. Schluter surrendered career-highs for both hits (15) and runs (12) in just 3.1 innings. His season ERA exploded from a sparkling 1.53 going into the game, to 4.68 by the time he left the mound.
Freshman Drew Jackson came on in relief of Schluter in the fourth and stayed out there to take one for the team until the eighth. Jackson allowed 11 runs, all earned, on nine hits over 3.2 innings of work.
The loss for the Hatters was the worst since 1999 when Stetson suffered its all-time worst defeat, a 34-4 decision to Troy. It was the first time a Stetson team allowed 20 or more runs since a 20-4 loss at Georgia State on March 11, 2005.
Belmont starting pitcher Chase Brookshire (3-1) was the beneficiary of the Bruins’ offensive explosion. He allowed just two runs – both on solo homers – over seven innings of work.
The fireworks started early in the game, partially due to 17-20 mile per hour winds blowing out to left, when Judah Akers blasted a solo homer off Schluter in the first. Mark Jones and Trey Blackman answered with solo shots in the second but, from there, it was all Belmont.
The Bruins scored five times in the second, five more in the fourth and then added nine runs in the fifth. Besides the solo homer from Akers, Belmont got a pair of two runs shots each from Greg Brody and William Dodd, who led the Bruins with four hits and six RBI from the nine hole in the batting order.
Dylan Craig also had four hits in the game for Belmont. Brody had three hits and drove in six for the Bruins while Akers, Matt Beaty and Drew Turner had three hits each.
The Hatters finished with 10 hits in the game, two each from Jones and James Rasmussen.
Stetson will try to snap its season worst four-game losing skid on Saturday when senior right-hander Lindsey Caughel (3-0, 3.30) takes the mound against Belmont’s Matt Hamann (0-3, 6.00).