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Belmont sweeps Vol State in first fall ball series

Jack Rando at the plate. AJ Wuest/Belmont Vision

Kickstarting its fall scrimmage schedule, Belmont baseball faced Volunteer State Community College for three, five-inning contests on Saturday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.

The Bruins powered past Vol State in all three games to successfully sweep the Pioneers.

A staff day for both bull pens, Belmont starting pitchers consisted of junior Will Jenkins along with sophomores Caleb Guisewite and Jordan Zuger, who each totaled two complete innings.

With Jenkins taking the mound in game one, the Bruins played a quick, first-half inning as he recorded two back-to-back strikeouts to retire the side.

In the bottom of the first, junior Jack Rando scored the first run of the day, stealing home off a wild pitch.

The Pioneers responded quickly as Vol State’s Landon Godsey hit an RBI double in the top of the second, tying the game at one.

Belmont junior Mason Landers heated the Bruin bats in the third with a hard-hit double to centerfield. Shortly after, sophomore Blake Barton crushed a two-run RBI down the third base line to drive in Landers and junior Brodey Heaton.

Defenses dominated in the fourth as freshman pitcher Simon Tesh struck out three-straight Vol State batters.

Rando cushioned the Bruins lead in the bottom of the fifth as he stole home again on a throw to the stealing runner at second.

The Bruins won 4-1.

Moving into its second game of the day, Guisewite took the hill for the Bruins and pitched an impressive first inning, recording two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the inning, Heaton scored off a wild pitch to give Belmont the 1-0 edge.

After another two strikeouts from Guisewite in the second, the Bruin offense came alive.

With two, two-run RBI doubles from Rando and Heaton, and a sacrifice fly from Barton, the Bruins scored six in the second to put the Bruins ahead 7-0.

Trailing by seven in the top of the third, the Pioneers racked up three runs, keeping them in reach.

Still, The Bruins won 10-4.

Belmont looked to cap off the day with a sweep.

After a scoreless four and a half innings, the Bruins needed a spark in the bottom of the fifth.

With Vol State’s Brett Dowling on the mound, junior Drew Lowry started the fifth with a lead-off triple to put the Bruins in scoring position.

From there, freshman Wyatt Fooks drove Lowry home on an RBI double, making it the first run of the final game.

After the first run, nothing went right for the Pioneers as three errors, three hits and five runs allowed the Bruins to secure the sweep with the shutout.

The Bruins won 5-0.

Saturday’s contest marked a first glimpse into what fans should expect from the 2023 Bruins as freshmen like Wu, Fooks, Heath Owen and Kaden Galason each made appearances alongside transfers Sam Slaughter, Sam Kirkpatrick, Cade Granzow and Jeff Clarke.

After 15 innings of fall baseball, the Bruins will take on the Fieldhouse Pirates Baseball Club on Oct. 14 at E.S. Rose Park. Belmont will conclude its fall ball schedule on Oct. 22 against Lipscomb University at Ken Dugan Field.

This article was written by A.J. Wuest

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