Behind stellar pitching from sophomore Dan Ludwig, the Belmont baseball team defeated in-state rivals MTSU Blue Raiders 3-1 Tuesday afternoon at Rose Park.
The left-handed Ludwig earned the win for the Bruins (14-6) with six complete innings of work, striking out nine and allowing only one earned run, four hits and a walk.
“You really have to look at our pitching staff and defense for what they accomplished today. It was a good win over a quality ball team,” said Belmont coach Dave Jarvis.
Ludwig went to work straight away for the Bruins striking out the first two batters he faced, retiring the Blue Raiders in order in the first.
“Dan’s performance was the key to the ballgame because it gave us distance,” Jarvis said. “He doesn’t try to over pitch or come outside what his skill frame is.”
In the bottom of the inning, senior Josh Davis brought in senior Jared Breen with an RBI single to center field for the first run of the day for the Bruins.
Two innings later, Breen doubled off a hit into the left field corner that brought around sophomores Alec Diamond and Drew Ferguson to expand the Bruins lead to three. Breen went two-for-two on the day.
After that, the Belmont office struggled for the remainder of the game and couldn’t convert off of eight walks and three wild pitches from MTSU pitchers. The Bruins had four total hits and left 10 men on base during the game.
“Offensively, we didn’t have a very good ballgame. Eleven freebies and we only put up three runs so that was a little bit disappointing,” Jarvis said. “We didn’t get the big two out hits when we needed it.”
On the mound thought, Ludwig continued to retire batters he faced, striking out three more batters in the top of the fifth.
“Usually I’m a big off-speed pitcher so I have to make sure I get my changeup and my curveball working. It makes all three of my pitches better,” Ludwig said.
In the bottom of the sixth, an RBI single from Johnny Thomas allowed Ryan Ford to score and gave the Blue Raiders their only run of the night.
Relief senior pitchers Jesse Snodgrass and Josh Davis continued Belmont’s success on the mound for the Belmont in the seventh and eighth innings.
Davis closed out the game and got his fourth save of the season by retiring the side in the ninth inning.
“They are two guys that contrast me well. Jesse is more low on the right side, and Josh throws fastball much harder than me. I’m sure it was hard to get a rhythm for it as a hitter,” Ludwig said.
Belmont will hit the road this weekend for a series against conference foe Eastern Kentucky starting on Friday.