Updated: May 6
For the first time in program history, Belmont has swept a Power Five team on the road.
The Bruins took a trip up north for a weekend set against Purdue University and came away with the sweep. Bruins up and down the lineup card knocked in runs as Belmont ended the weekend outscoring the Boilermakers 22-9.
Belmont’s last win over a Power Five team dates back to before the pandemic, when the squad beat the University of Kansas at home in February 2020.
The Boilermakers stand in the middle of the pack in Big 10 rankings while Belmont leads the Ohio Valley Conference at 26-14.
Friday: Belmont wins 3-2
Coming off a loss to Middle Tennessee State University, the Bruins roared into West Lafayette, Indiana,looking to put another win in the books.
Andy Bean stepped to the mound in front of a crowd of over 1,600 fans, pitching seven innings, striking out four and walking one. Purdue’s two runs came on a single in the third and a homer in the fifth.
But it was Belmont that got on the board first with a home run from catcher Tommy Crider, his ninth of the season. His tenth homer wasn’t far behind, breaking the 2-2 tie in the sixth.
“I’ve just been looking for fastballs early in the count that I can handle. I’ve been going after pitches outside of the zone and finding good pitches to hit,” Crider said after the game.
When Bean stepped off the mound in the eighth, it was up to relievers Will Jenkins and Kyle Brennen to keep the Boilermakers’ bats at bay.
Despite an eighth inning walk to Purdue right fielder Cam Thompson, no runners got past first base in either inning, securing the win for both Bean and the Bruins.
“Andy came in with three pitches and he was doing everything he needed to do to give us a good shot,” Crider said. “And then Will and Kyle, they really shut the door for us.”
Saturday: Belmont wins 11-1
Keeping the momentum rolling, the Bruins came ready in game two as junior Joshua South took the hill, striking out three and allowing just one run in his seven innings.
After a scoreless first from both sides, the Belmont bats began cooking early in the second with a single from junior Grayson Taylor to drive in senior Logan Jarvis.
The scoring wasn’t finished as junior John Behrends then rocked a single up the middle to bring in Jackson Campbell, making it 2-0 Belmont.
Purdue responded in the bottom of the second as Troy Viola launched a home run to left field, narrowing the score 2-1.
From there, it was all Belmont as runs were scored in the next three innings.
After the fifth, the Bruins led 10-1.
Offenses would then slow for the next couple innings until sophomore Indiana native Brodey Heaton crushed a solo home run over the left-field fence, widening the Bruins lead in the ninth.
All and all, the Bruins tallied a season-high 17 hits in their series-clinching victory.
Offensive stand outs include sophomore Guy Lipscomb, who hit 4-5 with three RBIs, and Behrends with three RBIs in his six at-bats.
Sunday: Belmont wins 8-6
Coming off the largest margin of victory against a Power Five school in program history, the Bruins looked to come away with the sweep in game three.
Belmont struck first as junior Carson Shacklett scored off an RBI grounder by Lipscomb to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Boilermakers responded with an RBI single in the second, however, tying the game back up 2-all.
After an RBI double from sophomore Mason Landers to reclaim the lead in the third, Jarvis delivered a two-run home run, making it 4-1.
“I definitely didn’t know it was gone off the bat,” Jarvis said after the game. “I knew I barrelled it. I knew I got it way up in the air, though, and my thought was ‘surely with the wind blowing out forty miles an hour, it’s going to leave.’”
The Bruins added two more runs in the fourth thanks to RBI singles from Lipscomb and Heaton.
Staying alive, Purdue scored a run in the bottom of the inning but the Bruins battled back with two more in the fifth.
But Purdue rallied, tightening the deficit to two in the ninth.
The Boilermakers’ ultimately fell short, though, as Brennan closed out the game to secure the Belmont victory.
On the mound, sophomore Jalen Borders pitched an efficient game striking out three in his four innings, earning him the win.
Offensively, along with Jarvis and Lipscomb, junior Jack Capobianco also had a big day, batting 3-4 with a double.
Coming off a road sweep, the red-hot Bruins will now head to the University of Evansville Tuesday before returning home to face off against OVC rival Southeast Missouri State University for a three-game weekend series.
PHOTO: Belmont baseball donning the powder blue uniforms during a game against Purdue University. Belmont Athletics
This article was written by A.J. Wuest and Sarah Maninger.