JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 16, 2012) – Belmont scored a combined eight runs in two innings and starting pitcher Chase Brookshire pitched seven strong innings as the Bruins opened up Atlantic Sun play with an 8-2 win over ETSU, Friday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
Brookshire (2-1) earned his second win of the season after allowing eight hits and only two runs, while striking out two. Meanwhile, ETSU starter Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) (1-2) was charged with the loss after going five innings and allowing nine hits and eight runs (three earned), while striking out seven.
Eight of the nine Belmont starters recorded hits on the day as the Bruins pounded out 12 hits. Jared Breen, Dylan Craig, Matt Beaty and Jamie Ritchie each had two hits on the afternoon. Craig and Ritchie each had a home run and two RBI.
The middle part of the ETSU order had a solid afternoon as Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.), Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) each finished 2-for-4 in the game. Doane extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games.
After both teams were held scoreless in the first inning, Belmont got on the scoreboard in the second frame with three runs on three hits. Judah Akers led off the inning with a perfect bunt single down the third base line to jump start the inning. Matt Beaty followed with a triple down the right field line – driving home Akers. Then, Bushey got Drew Turner to hit a comebacker right back to him and Bushey was able to throw out Beaty, who was leaning off the third base bag. The catcher Jamie Ritchie provided the big blow of the inning as he drilled a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
The Bruins broke the game open in the fourth inning by scoring five runs on four hits. For the second time in the game, the Bruins got the leadoff hitter on as Beaty started things off with a single through the right side. After Turner struck out, Ritchie reached on an ETSU error, allowing Beaty to score from second. Mitchell and Breen then recorded back-to-back RBI base-hits to put the Bruins in front 6-0. After Breen stole second with two outs in the inning, Craig blasted a two-run homer to right field – his first of the season, extending the Belmont lead to 8-0.
ETSU finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth as the Bucs plated two runs on three hits. Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the frame with a walk and Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) singled through the right side to advance Scruggs to third. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) then grounded into a fielder’s choice – scoring Scruggs from third for his 15th RBI of the season. After Pratt singled, Niesman lined an RBI single into left field to score Freeman from second.
Once again the ETSU bullpen was strong as Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Kuehl McEachern (Mt. Dora, Fla.) combined to pitch four shutout innings.
The series will continue with game two beginning at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow at Thomas Stadium. Sophomore Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) (1-1) is scheduled to start against Belmont’s Matt Hamann (0-2).
- Dylan Pratt has now reached base in all 16 games so far this season after his two-hit performance on the afternoon.
- Pratt, Doane and Niesman each recorded their sixth multiple hit games of the season.
- Doane extended his hitting streak to nine games, while Pratt pushed his hitting streak to seven straight.
- Belmont has now defeated ETSU eight consecutive times dating back to 2008. The Bruins now lead the overall series, 21-7.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.