While the Belmont baseball team defeated the SIU Edwardsville Cougars 5-3 on Saturday, coach Dave Jarvis thought the home win was one of his team’s less impressive performances of the season.
“I thought we need better execution on the mound and at the plate. As a team I don’t think our performance was that well,” Jarvis said. “At the end of the day though, we found a way to get the job done and get a conference win.”
Dom Veltri started the Bruins’ offense in the bottom of the first inning, hitting a triple into center right field. A wild pitch brought Veltri in for Belmont’s first run of the day.
“Dom is such a gifted athlete, and he does a lot of things in a very quiet way. That’s the reason we moved him into the two [spot in the batting order],” Jarvis said. “Because of the injuries we’ve had, it’s a natural fit for him. I think is capable for some tremendous and wonderful things for us.”
SIUE struck back in the second inning when Devin Caldwell hit a double that brought in Joel Greatting and Drew Johon and gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead. An extended catch by Scott Moses kept the Cougars from scoring additional runs in the third.
In the bottom of the third, the Bruins loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batters. The Cougars then turned a double play, but not before Veltri scored to tie the game at two.
Left-handed pitcher Dan Ludwig found a groove in the top of the fourth, striking out two of four batters he faced. He finished the day with six strikeouts and allowing eight hits and three runs.
“You have to give credit to Dan Ludwig. He didn’t have his best locations but he was able to grind through it and give us seven solid innings,” Jarvis said.
Jared Breen earned his first hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left-center field. A RBI double from Drew Turner brought in Breen to give Belmont a 3-2 lead.
A solo homer over the bullpen wall from Caldwell squared the game again at 3-3 in the top of the sixth.
“Caldwell did an outstanding job of getting good pitches and put a hurt on it every time that he did. He is a very dangerous hitter in the bottom third of the lineup,” Jarvis said.
In the sixth inning, a Judah Akers left field double brought in Diamond and Veltri and gave the Bruins all they needed to defeat the Cougars.
Jessie Snodgrass came in for relief in the eighth inning for his 25th appearance of the season. Back-to-back hits to left field put two Cougars on base, but stellar defense and pitching from Snodgrass got Belmont out of the inning.
Scott Moses would leave third base to earn the save on the mound for the Bruins.
With the win, Belmont kept its first place standing in the Ohio Valley Conference. The team will try to complete a sweep of the Cougars Sunday at 1 p.m. at Rose Park.
Photos by Katie Greene