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Bullpen collapse leads to fifth straight loss

With a late-game collapse in the bullpen, the Belmont baseball team’s fate was sealed in a 12-6 loss to Eastern Kentucky.

The Bruins pitching staff had a total of nine walks and allowed 12 hits against the Colonels lineup.

“We just didn’t have the right mentality today and it showed,” said freshman Tyler Walsh. “We’re pretty upset about it, but we’ll come back tomorrow.”

It was the fifth loss in a row for the Bruins, who have currently won only a single game out of their last 10.

After putting two runners in scoring position, a sacrifice fly from Doug Teegarden brought in Bryan Solomon for the first run of the day. EKU extended its lead 2-0 with an RBI single from Taylor Blair.

In the bottom of the third, Walsh crushed his career first home run on the first pitch of the inning to cut the lead in half. The homer from Walsh would spark an offensively minded third inning for the Bruins.

“I was leading off that inning so I was looking just to get on,” he said. “But he gave me a good pitch on the inside and I turned on it and luckily got it up in the wind.”

After Jamie Ritchie reached base on an error, Matt Beaty ripped a line drive up the middle to move Ritchie into scoring position on third base. On the next at-bat, a stolen base from Beaty set up a two RBI single from William Dodd to to give Belmont its first lead to close the third 3-2.

Starting pitcher Austin Coley made quick work of the Colonels in the fourth and fifth innings, striking out four of the batters faced.

But EKU would tie the game on a squeeze bunt from Luke Wurzelbacher in the sixth.

After a walk loaded the bases, the Colonels regained the lead on another RBI single from Blair. An unassisted play at the plate from Ritchie and a Coley strikeout kept the damage to a minimum.

Coley allowed a total of five hits and five walks but struck out nine batters in six innings.

EKU would score nine unanswered runs off the Belmont bullpen, including five in the top of the eighth inning to extend its lead 11-3.

In the bottom of the inning, Drew Ferguson broke the scoring drought for Belmont when the centerfielder knocked out his seventh home run of the season.

With the team down 12-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Bruins loaded the bases on three consecutive hits from Beaty and pinch hitters Rafael Bournigal and Matthew Kinney.

Spencer Pettet, pinch hitter, ripped a two RBI single to trim the lead 12-6. This would be the last offense the Bruins would muster as the score went final.

Belmont will continue its series with Eastern Kentucky tomorrow with first pitch set for 1 p.m.

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