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Belmont Loses Third-Straight Game In Tuesday Thriller Against Vanderbilt


Photo courtesy of Belmont Athletics

In a chilly Tuesday night thriller, Belmont lost to Vanderbilt 3-1 after an almost three-hour showdown. 


The annual charity game between Vanderbilt and Belmont had a portion of the proceeds going to the Live Like Lou Fund for ALS research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

 

The Bruins came into First Horizon Park with a record of 11-9 and were seen as underdogs against a No.3 ranked Vanderbilt team that had gone 18-3 in their first 21 games. 

 

But the Bruins were determined to make this night a slugfest. 

 

The Bruins came out of the dugout swinging with Sam Slaughter hitting a double to right field before advancing to third on a sacrifice grounder to third from Jack Rando. 

 

The Bruins would then get Brodey Heaton on first base, after a walk from the Vanderbilt pitcher, but with a strikeout on the next at bat they would leave the first inning scoreless. 

 

Vanderbilt would come out to a rough start striking out or hitting to an outfielder on all three of their first at-bats against Blake Ciuffetelli in his first start for the Bruins. 

 

“I think he's just a lot more comfortable in that role, and I think we saw him flourish in it today,” said assistant head coach A.J. Gaura. 

 

Ciuffetelli would end the night with a season-high five strikeouts for the Bruins. 

 

“We needed that out of Blake, Cade Granzow has been out sick. So we needed somebody to step up,” said Gaura. 

 

The second inning for the Bruins would get out to a rough start with both of their first two batters striking out. 

 

Michael Lareau would keep their inning alive by getting on base after a line drive down the third base line that sneaked its way into the outfield. 

 

But he would be picked off by the Vanderbilt pitcher at second after getting a wide lead-off attempting to steal, ending the inning for the Bruins. 

 

The Commodores retaking the bats looked like they were going to repeat their scoreless first inning with two outs early, that was until Logan Poteet took the box. 

 

Poteet got Vanderbilt on the board with a home run hit over the left-field wall. 

 

This brought a largely Vanderbilt fan-filled stadium to their feet as they cheered and shouted for Poteet as he rounded the bases before returning to his fellow “Vandy Boys” at home plate. 

 

Vanderbilt couldn’t keep the runs coming though as a shallow pop fly to center field would get the Bruins off the field. 

 

As Belmont retook the bats, Pete Daniel would single up the third base line to get on first but would ultimately be picked off by the Vanderbilt pitcher at second. 

 

The Bruins wouldn’t be able to get much else going this inning before taking the field once again. 

 

Vanderbilt would get on the bases early in the bottom of the third with Calvin Hewett bunting to get to first before stealing second during the next at-bat. 

 

Davis Diaz hit a line drive down the third base line, advancing himself to second and bringing home Hewett to give the Commodores an early 2-0 lead. 

 

The Bruins would get out of the inning before Vanderbilt could extend the lead anymore with a deep flyout to left field and a strikeout for the third out. 

 

The game would continue scoreless through the next three innings with not much action apart from loaded bases in the sixth for Belmont that ultimately wouldn’t be converted. 

 

Vanderbilt however, would convert in the bottom of the seventh when they once again came out swinging. 

 

Diaz would get on base again with a line drive hit over second base, flying all the way into centerfield. 

 

He would then put pressure on the Bruins stealing both second and third, before being brought home on an Alan Espinal single to left field. 

 

The Bruins now finding themselves down 3-0, had seemingly lost hope of a comeback going into the top of the eighth. 

 

But Mason Landers had other plans for the Bruins, taking the very first pitch of the innning over the left field wall, making it his fourth straight game with a home run, and getting the Bruins on the board at 3-1. 

 

But the Bruins couldn’t keep the energy going, striking out on their next two and flying out to right field for their third out. 

 

Belmont would once again struggle with its bats in the ninth, having two early outs leading into the third at-bat. 

 

Daniel hit a shot to second, but thanks to a misthrow, he would be safe, keeping the Bruin's hopes alive. 

 

Slaughter would then work himself all the way to a full count before hitting a line drive out to right field, advancing the runner to third and himself to first putting the Bruins in scoring position and the pressure on the Commodores. 

 

Ultimately, the Bruins would be sent home after a short hit to Vanderbilt’s shortstop was fielded and thrown to first for the final play of the game. 

 

The Bruins, now 11-10 and on a three-game losing streak, will look to rally against the University of Illinois at Chicago at home on Friday. 


This article was written by Braden Simmons

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