Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Belmont baseball cruised to a crushing 11-1 victory over Middle Tennessee State University Wednesday night at E.S. Rose Park as head coach Dave Jarvis recorded his 1,000th career win.
Prior to his 25 years coaching at Belmont, Jarvis won 324 games over eight years at Three Rivers Community College. Wednesday’s win was his 676th with the Bruins.
In April 2021, after his 664th Belmont win, Jarvis surpassed renowned head coach Dave Whitten to become the winningest coach in program history.
Now he stands with another exceptional achievement.
“It’s just a flood of a lot of good memories for me,” Jarvis said. “It’s a warm feeling to bring back a lot of those memories and so many unbelievable, talented players because that’s really where it is, it’s a player’s game.”
Jarvis compares his role as head coach to the likes of a chicken herder.
“I always use the term, I say I get to herd the chickens because about half the time they’re like a lot of chickens just running in different directions. But when you get them all headed in the same direction — man, it’s fun,” Jarvis said.
“And I’ve just had a blast over, you know, I guess this is 33 years as a head coach,” he said. “I feel very fortunate and very blessed to be involved with the people.”
Cold and rain shortened the game to seven and a half innings, but Belmont came out ahead with its commanding double-digit lead.
After a quick top of the first with freshman starting pitcher Jordan Zuger on the mound for the Bruins, the Belmont bats began warming up.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, sophomore first baseman Brodey Heaton launched a double to left field, keeping the inning alive.
Following Heaton came senior Logan Jarvis who walked, allowing junior designated hitter Carson Shacklett to take some cuts in the batter’s box.
Continuing his red-hot momentum from the opening series against the University of Toledo, Shacklett hit an RBI single into the right field gap, driving in Heaton to take a 1-0 lead.
After a groundout started the second inning, the Blue Raiders responded with three straight singles, tying the game 1-all.
The Bruins retired the side with a double play involving a toss from junior shortstop Grayson Taylor to second baseman Jack Capobianco and a throw to Heaton.
The top of the third also saw some impressive defensive action as senior catcher Jackson Campbell threw a stealing runner out at second base and Taylor dove to field for a hard-hit grounder to get the out.
On the play, Taylor threw to first, but the runner was safe, leading Heaton to throw to Jarvis at third for the tag.
Scoring picked back up in the bottom of the fourth after Capobianco singled on a 2-2 pitch to shallow right field.
Following Capobianco, Taylor lobbed the ball just over the MTSU shortstop’s head.
Capobianco scored thanks to an RBI single from sophomore center fielder Guy Lipscomb, retaking the lead 2-1.
The Bruins weren’t finished yet, as junior right fielder John Behrends drove Taylor in with an RBI single past the Blue Raider second baseman.
After Lipscomb effectively stole home, the Bruins held a commanding 4-1 lead to end the fourth.
The art of base running is important to the Bruins and has helped them so far this season.
Lipscomb, a quick and confident runner, believes small ball plays a tremendous role in the Bruins’ success.
“I think it just adds so much pressure to the pitchers if they’re having to constantly think about you. We work on base running every day in practice, and it’s all about being confident with it,” Lipscomb said.
Despite the barely above-freezing temperature drop, the Bruins stayed warm in the fifth as Taylor hit an RBI single to drive Campbell in, making the score 5-1.
After loading the bases in the sixth and walking both Campbell and Taylor to extend the Bruin lead 7-1, the MTSU dugout was livid, causing the plate umpire to issue a warning.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman pitcher Caleb Guisewite finished the top of the seventh with two straight strikeouts.
After Guisewite’s second strikeout, a Blue Raider player was ejected from the game due to an audible comment heard by the umpire.
At this point, the rain started falling.
The Bruins cushioned their control in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four more runs thanks to RBIs hit by Jarvis, Campbell and Taylor.
Graduate student pitcher Dusty Baird closed the game out for the Bruins and recorded a strikeout.
After the top of the eighth, the game was called due to weather.
The Bruins won 11-1, now standing tall on a 4-1 record.
After a significant win for the books, the team will next welcome Youngstown State University to E.S. Rose Park for a four-game series Friday through Sunday.
Looking for his 1,001st win and beyond, coach Jarvis said his squad of Bruins can make it happen.
“We’re at the beginning of something that could be extremely special with this group of people,” he said. “We’ve gotta make sure we continue to do our business, the way we go about things. We take care of our business and take care of each other.”
PHOTO: No. 14 Jack Capobianco at bat for Belmont at Wednesday’s game at E.S. Rose Park, Feb. 23. Sarah Maninger / Belmont Vision
This article was written by A.J. Wuest. Contributory reporting by Landen Secrest.
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