In their first Bruins baseball season opener at E.S. Rose Park, Belmont defeated the Purple Aces of Evansville 2-0 in what many would call a classic pitcher’s duel.
Belmont pitchers Chase Brookshire and Scott Moses set the tone for the Friday night game, allowing only three hits and striking out 13 batters combined for the shutout win.
Neither team scored a run until third baseman Greg Brody brought home Zac Mitchell with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
While head coach Dave Jarvis wanted to see more from his Bruin offense, the team’s pitching was more than enough for the win.
“Do we want to become more consistent and more productive at the plate overall?” he asked. “We have to.”
But Jarvis didn’t discount the pitching. “The tremendous effort by Chase Brookshire to give us a great start and Scotty Moses coming out of the bullpen — that’s going to be priceless for us.”
He got a priceless effort last season, too. The returning players were part of the best season in program history. That 2011 team tallied a school record of 38 wins in a season that concluded with Bruins baseball’s first Atlantic Sun championship and their first ever appearance in an NCAA tournament, where they finished second to Vanderbilt during the Nashville Regional.
It’s a new season, though, and Bruins old and new showed up strong at home.
In the first inning, Evansville leadoff hitter Eric Stamets reached first base on a line drive toward right field. He was ultimately left stranded after getting to third on a sacrifice bunt and steal.
Brookshire and Evansville starting pitcher Cole Isom would both pitch perfect innings in the second, ensuring what became a pitcher’s battle for rest of the game.
The Bruins dodged another bullet in the third inning after leadoff hitter Eric Stamets reached third after a walk and an error. Evansville center fielder Kevin Kaczmarski also reached first base after a wild pitch, but again both runners were left stranded.
In the fourth inning, Evansville got another runner on base as catcher Chris Pearson singled between third base and the shortstop. It would end up another missed opportunity after Brookshire struck the next two batters out.
After the fifth inning, freshman right-hander Scott Moses relieved Brookshire, who had allowed no runs, two hits and two walks in the game.
The Bruins earned both their first hit and first run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Brody’s line drive single that followed two strikes brought in second baseman Mitchell.
Jarvis credited Brody with breaking the ice for Belmont with that two outs, two strikes hit.
Mitchell’s leadoff triple in the eighth would add another run when he scored on a Dylan Craig sacrifice fly. This, combined with the stellar performance of Moses, who struck out eight batters in his four innings, sealed the victory for the Bruins.
After striking out the last batter of the game, Moses was beaming.
“It felt great, just getting a lot of weight off of our chest and getting that first win in the books,” Moses said. “It’s one of many to head back to the A-Sun championships.”