The Belmont baseball team’s red-hot hitting combated against the harsh winter weather as the Bruins powered past the Toledo Rockets 18-5.
The Bruins’ offense collected 16 hits against the Rockets in its first win of the 2015 season.
Senior Matt Beaty finished 3-of-6 at the plate including a grand slam in the eighth inning to lead the team with six RBIs.
Belmont coach Dave Jarvis said he was impressed with the mental approach his players took offensively and their ability to capitalize off five Toledo errors.
“We were patient when they were out of the zone and we got good pitches to hit. We were able to do some damage with it,” he said. “Defensively they made enough miscues where it extended innings for us and our hitters did a great job taking advantage of that.”
The Bruins opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first behind a sacrifice fly by Beaty which brought in classmate Drew Ferguson. A RBI single from sophomore Tyler Walsh doubled the lead for Belmont 2-0.
The Rockets quickly tied the game up in the top of the second inning with a two-RBI single from centerfielder A.J. Montoya.
Tyler Vaughn started his first career game on the mound for the Bruins and struck out four batters in two innings pitched. The right-hander held Toledo to just two runs in the second inning.
With the game tied 2-2, the Bruins retook the lead in the bottom of second with a pair of runs scored during Ferguson’s at-bat. Beaty knocked a RBI triple to bring Ferguson in once again and expanded the Bruins’ lead 5-2.
“That was a big inning in the game right there and point in the game. That kind of put a little bit of distance and after that they scored two, we came back and actually ended up winning that inning,” said Jarvis.
With three more runs added in the fourth, Belmont produced similar results in the bottom of the sixth inning.
RBIs from Tyler Fullerton, Desi Ammons and Brennan Washington combined with a sacrifice fly by William Dodd added four runs. An error by Toledo’s Matt Hansen allowed Desi Ammons to come across the plate and extend the lead 13-4.
“We were just waiting for our pitch to hit and our guys did a good job of not expanding the zone and looking for one pitch to hit,” said Beaty.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Beaty knocked out a grand slam to ensure the 18-5 victory.
“Matt’s just a great hitter for us. The best thing that I liked about him and his approach was the fact that he was patient and didn’t expand his strike zone a great deal,” said Jarvis.
Senior pitcher Patrick McGrath earned the win for the Bruins in a game where five different pitchers saw time on the mound for Belmont.
“We just wanted them to come in and execute their pitches. For the most part we did that. We didn’t walk the house or have a lot of control problems,” said Jarvis.
The Bruins return to action on Wednesday against the defending national champion Vanderbilt. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m. at E.S Rose Park.