Updated: Apr 22
Belmont baseball went to bat against Vanderbilt University with optimism but got hit with a 4-13 loss Tuesday.
Playing at the neutral site of First Horizon Park, the neighboring Nashville teams had equal opportunity to showcase their talent without the pressure of a fan bias.
In fact, there were no fans at all in the park Tuesday, after inclement weather forecasts moved the game up from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m., and staffing issues forced the doors to close to the Bruin and Commodore faithful.
Considered the away team, Belmont batted first.
Initially without luck in production, the Bruins found their run mojo at the top of the third inning as junior left fielder Carson Shacklett started things off with a single.
From there, sophomore Brodey Heaton, who singled earlier in the first, stepped up to the plate and delivered a hard-hit RBI double to center field, driving in Shacklett.
With the game tied 1-all as Vanderbilt grabbed a run in the first inning, the Commodores looked to retake the lead at the bottom of the third.
Thanks to some impressive performances from freshman pitcher Ethan Harden and the Belmont defense, their opponent left two runners on base as the inning retired.
In the fourth, the Bruins began to rally.
With a single from senior catcher Jackson Campbell and an RBI double from junior designated hitter Tommy Crider, the lead was now in Belmont’s hands.
No. 1 John Behrends celebrates a Belmont run. A.J. Wuest / Belmont Vision
The runs continued as sophomore infielder Jack Rando delivered a sacrifice fly deep into right field, batting in Crider to make the score 3-1.
The Commodores responded right away, however, tying the game back up 3-all.
No. 3 in the NCAA DI preseason ranking, Vanderbilt established its dominance in the fifth. After a 1-2-3 out at the top of the inning, the Commodores claimed six hits and 10 runs.
With a two-run homer over the right field fence by Carter Young and a second two-run by Jack Bulger, a 13-3 Vanderbilt lead stared down at the Bruins from the guitar-shaped scoreboard.
Both sides started to cool offensively after the conclusion of Vandy’s stampede with Belmont making several substitutions in the lineup.
The Bruins regained some momentum to score a final run. By error at the top of the ninth, junior Jack Capobianco delivered a ground-out to drive in freshman Blake Barton.
But the run wasn’t enough to muster a comeback rally, so the Commodores claimed the 13-4 win.
The Bruins now stand with an overall 14-8 record heading into Ohio Valley Conference play Friday for a three-game series at Austin Peay University.
No. 10 Blake Barton scores on error in the ninth, the Bruins’ final run of Tuesday’s game. A.J. Wuest / Belmont Vision
PHOTO: Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin (center left) shaking hands with Belmont head coach Dave Jarvis (center right) after the game. A.J Wuest / Belmont Vision
This article was written by A.J. Wuest.