|Belmont Pitchers Baffle Hatters|
Nashville, Tenn. – One day after the Belmont offense exploded in a series-opening victory over Stetson, it was the Bruins’ pitching on Saturday that shut the door on the Hatters in a 5-0 loss.
The Hatters managed just three hits in the game and never had a runner advance past second base. Stetson had just five base runners in the game. Belmont improved to 16-9 overall on the year and 4-2 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. Stetson which has now lost five straight, falls to 15-8 overall, 0-2 in league play.
The five-game losing streak is the longest for Stetson since dropping seven straight from Feb. 26 to March 7 of 2010.
The teams will meet again on Sunday at noon in the final game of the weekend series.
Belmont got all the offense it needed on the second pitch of the game when Zac Mitchell blasted a solo homer off Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel (3-1). It was the first of eight straight innings in which the Bruins got at least one hit against Hatters pitchers.
That one quick run stood up because of the work of a trio of Belmont hurlers. Senior starter Matt Hamann came into the game with an 0-3 record and a 6.00 ERA, but held the Hatters to just one hit over five innings of work to earn his first win of the year.
Relievers Austin Coley and Scott Moses worked two innings each for Belmont, both allowing just a single hit.
Caughel did not have a bad day on the mound for Stetson, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings of work, but also wasn’t extremely sharp. He doubled his season walk total, allowing two, and struck out just four while throwing 106 pitches, his most in a game since his final appearance of 2010.
After getting the early lead, Belmont added a single run in the second thanks to a pair of Ben Carhart errors at third base and an RBI single by William Dodd. Greg Brody added a two-run homer in the fifth and Drew Turner walked and scored on a Jamie Ritchie single in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Spencer Theisen’s one-out double in the sixth inning was the only time during the game, which lasted just two hours and 16 minutes, to get into scoring position for Stetson until Sam Kimmel singled in the ninth and moved to second on a ground out.
The Hatters will turn to senior Will Dorsey (2-2) in Sunday’s series finale to try to prevent a sweep. He will be opposed by Belmont’s sophomore left-hander James Buckelew (3-0, 1.65), who has the best numbers of all the Bruins’ starting pitchers.