Belmont’s baseball team is halfway done with the 2018 season, with an overall record of 14-21.
Though the team has had some impressive wins, including beating the then No. 8 Vanderbilt as well as sweeping UT Martin and Eastern Kentucky, they’ve also faced unexpected difficulties due to injuries of several key players.
The Bruins took a devastating hit when Dylan King, the Ohio Valley Conference pre-season pitcher of the year, had a season-ending injury after his opening day start. Young pitchers have had to step up to fill his shoes.
“The first half has had many challenges for our team with a number of significant injuries,” said Coach Dave Jarvis. “This we see as an opportunity for other players to step forward, which they have. We have had many gain a lot of experience that should pay off as we move through the remainder of the schedule.”
Junior Casey Queener is one of those players who has stepped up to the job, with two consecutive weeks where he has pitched gems that have led to conference wins for the Bruins.
Queener threw his first career complete game on April 8 against Austin Peay, only giving up three hits as Belmont won 4-0.
On Sunday he threw eight innings, allowing only two runs and giving the Bruins a 5-2 win against Eastern Illinois.
Queener currently has a 3.18 ERA with 51 IP.
The team has also found success with the help of younger players stepping up at the plate. Sophomore Matt Cogen has been sporting a .368 batting average with 27 RBI’s and an .415 on base percentage.
“Even with all the adversity we have dealt with, this has been an enjoyable team with a tremendous spirit. That gives me great hope for what the future holds for us,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis himself has had a noteworthy season, celebrating his 600th career win on March 24 when the Bruins beat University of Tennessee at Martin. This is his 21st season serving as Belmont’s head coach.
With about a month of regular season play to go, the team is currently 9-9 in the OVC and sits seventh in the conference standings.
The Bruins will take on Jacksonville State for their next conference matchup at E.S. Rose Park on Friday at 5 p.m..