When sophomore Alec Diamond stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 11th, his only goal was to make contact and give the Bruins a much-needed momentum booster against rival Lipscomb.
“I was just trying to get a good pitch and get a good swing on it,” he said. “I just wanted to get up with opportunity to get the game winning hit.”
Diamond sent a single to center field to bring in fellow sophomore Scott Moses from second to give Belmont a 5-4 win over the Bisons Tuesday night at Rose Park.
“Anytime we play Lipscomb University, it’s usually going to end up being some type of interesting game, I’ll tell you that,” coach Dave Jarvis said.
Earlier in the game, freshman right-hander Jordan Deal made his first start for the Bruins and allowed four hits and one walk in four complete innings of work. Deal’s two strikeouts came in the first inning after Lipscomb loaded the bases.
The only run Deal allowed in the inning was after a hit batsman brought in Lee Wilson and gave the Bisons a 1-0 lead.
“I was very impressed with Jordan. He got himself into a lot of trouble in the first inning. It was his first career start, so he was jittery,” Jarvis said. “But once he worked out of the inning and allowed only one run, I was so pleased with how he dealt with their lineup.”
With bases loaded in the bottom of the third, a Judah Akers sacrifice fly brought in Jamie Ritchie to tie the game. Jared Breen then hit a single to score Dom Veltri and Diamond to give Belmont a 3-1 lead.
Lipscomb left fielder Drew Adams hit a solo home run off Josh Davis to pull the Bisons within one run of the lead in the top of the fifth.
Three innings later, Tyson Ashcraft hit his first home run of the night off of Moses’ first pitch in the eighth, allowing the Bisons to tie the game at three.
Moses and the Bruins’ infield retired all three batters in the top of the ninth, but a silent offense sent the game into extra innings.
Ashcraft hit his second solo home run of the game off Moses to help the Bisons jump ahead 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning.
“I felt pretty good about the entire thing, except for two pitches I left out there and both were to him,” Moses said. “He didn’t miss them and put good swings on them.”
When a single and an error sent Veltri to second, a sacrifice fly from Diamond and subsequent passed ball allowed Veltri to tie the game in the 10th.
All three Lipscomb batters were retired again by Moses and the Bruins’ defense in the top of the 11th. After a Moses single, a sacrifice bunt from Ritchie moved the winning run into scoring position for Diamond’s walk-off hit two batters later.
Belmont will return to action at Rose Park this weekend when they host Eastern Illinois for a weekend series.