The Belmont baseball team’s first loss of the season came 9-3 to their crosstown foe Vanderbilt Tuesday afternoon.
“Vanderbilt tonight was a very good team. There’s a reason they are ranked second in the country right now,” coach Dave Jarvis said. “It gives us direction to work with here on forward.”
Sophomore left-hander Dan Ludwig was the losing pitcher for the Bruins at Rose Park. In four innings, he allowed seven hits and five runs and struck out four.
Left-hander Philip Pfeifer notched the win for the Commodores, striking out 10 Bruins while allowing only four hits and a run in six and two-thirds innings pitched.
“He did a good job of executing his location all night long. He was able to mix his pitches enough to keep our hitters off balance,” Jarvis said.
The Bruins had only eight hits and allowed 17 total hits from the Commodores.
Vanderbilt got on the board early in the first inning after back-to-back groundouts brought in Tony Kemp and Xavier Turner for a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Vanderbilt extended their lead to 3-0 after a solo home run from right fielder Mike Yastrzemski. Kemp, who hit 5-for-5 on the night, and John Norwood were able to advance Connor Harrell and Vince Conde, giving the Commodores a 5-0 lead into the fifth. In the fifth, they tacked on three more runs.
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Drew Turner got the Bruins on the board with a right-field home run with the wind at his back to give Belmont its first hit of the night. Turner was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
“30 mph winds are always nice. But I got a good pitch to go that way with,” Turner said. “Fortunately I was able to get it up high enough and the wind probably helped me out a little bit, but I’ll take it.”
Over the next three innings, pitcher Josh Davis and the Bruins’ defense held Vanderbilt scoreless with two hits.
The Bruins’ offense went to work in the bottom of the eighth. After a single from Scott Moses, a walk by Judah Akers and a RBI single from Matt Beaty. A sacrifice fly from Turner brought in Akers to cut the score to 8-3.
Belmont allowed Vanderbilt to add one more run to their lead in the ninth. Back-to-back singles from Dom Veltri and Jamie Ritchie put runners on bases, but the Bruins were unable to capitalize and a pop fly from Moses ended the game.
“They got quality arms and we knew that coming in. We could have had a little bit better approach,” Turner said. “We will take anything we can learn from today and go back to work tomorrow.”
Belmont will travel to Athens, Ga., for their first road game against the Georgia Bulldogs starting Friday.