The Belmont baseball team has reached the midpoint of its season, exceeding preseason expectations with a record of 16-19 overall and 11-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Belmont was predicted to place seventh in the OVC, but the team is sitting pretty, tied for second with Austin Peay.
The Bruins were tied for first on Friday but dropped two of three games to Jacksonville State, which is now tied with Murray State for the first place spot.
Going into this season, the Bruins had to recover from losing left fielder Matt Cogen and pitcher Dylan King to the 2018 MLB Draft.
Because of these losses, the Bruins have relied heavily on their seniors at the plate this season.
Senior Zach Ehrhart leads the team with a batting average of .307, while senior Devon Gardner trails behind with an average of .286, 22 runs batted in and .419 slugging percentage.
When it comes to pitching, sophomore relieving pitcher Kyle Brennan has been stepping up to the mound and greatly helping his teammates.
With 19 straight scoreless innings since March, including 12 strikeouts, Brennan has been an important addition to the team. Overall he has three wins, two losses and an ERA of 3.68.
Senior Casey Queener is also pitching extremely well this season, striking out 79 batters in 52.2 innings pitched.
Earlier in the season Queener was named OVC Pitcher of the Week, and he’s continued his excellent pitching from last season. He holds a 3.75 ERA and three wins over his nine starts.
The Bruins will host first place Murray State on Thursday for a three-game series that will determine Belmont’s spot at the top of the conference.
Belmont will desperately need its pitching to hold off an electric Murray State offense if it wants a shot at first place.
The series kicks off on Thursday at 4 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.
This article was written by Laura Privott. Photo by Melissa Kriz.