After losing their first game in an NCAA regional Friday, the Belmont baseball team found itself in a familiar situation. Last year, the Bruins lost their first game ever in the NCAA tournament, but then won their next two games reach the regional finals.
This year, however, was different for the Bruins.
They lost to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 6-3 Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., ending their season and eliminating them from the NCAA tournament.
The ULM Warhawks took an early lead in the bottom of the third. With one out, Jeremy Sy ripped one to right field and reached third base for his seventh triple of the season. A sacrifice fly from Caleb Clowers allowed Sy to score the first run of the game. The Warhawks scored two more runs after a wild pitch from starter Matt Hamann followed by a sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.
Two innings later, the Bruins answered. After back to back singles by Matt Beaty and Judah Akers, Alec Diamond hit a single up the middle, allowing Beaty to score from second base. A hit from senior Phillip Parsley brought Akers in to score the Bruins’ second run, and a sacrifice fly from Dylan Craig tied the game at three.
In the fifth and sixth innings, Hamann kept the Warhawks at bay, leaving several Louisiana-Monroe runners in scoring position. The junior pitcher finished the day with seven strikeouts and and a walk in six innings of work.
In the eighth inning, the Warhawks were too much for freshman pitcher Moses and the Bruins. ULM was able to load the bases, and then scored three runs through a sacrifice grounder and a two-run single.
In the ninth, ULM pitcher Kendall Thamm retired Belmont’s final three batters, sealing the win for the Warhawks and ending the Bruins’ season.
Belmont finished the season with a program-record 39 wins and as both regular season and tournament champions in their final season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.