NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (23-19, 12-9) dropped a midweek contest to Austin Peay (19-19, 7-4) by a score of 7-5 in the first game ever at the new E.S. Rose Park. Sophomore Judah Akers (Cookeville, Tenn.) and senior Tim Egerton (Smyrna, Tenn.) both hit home runs for the Bruins in the defeat.
BU had a difficult time putting runs on the board throughout most of the game. Akers' solo shot in the fourth inning was the only offense the Bruins put together until the bottom of the eighth. The first Belmont home run at Rose Park was a shot to dead center that brought BU within one at 2-1.
Freshman starting pitcher James Buckelew (Suwanee, Ga.) recorded a solid performance, allowing only three earned runs on nine hits in six and one third innings pitched. The left-hander struck out one batter while walking none. Austin Peay added one run in the fifth and two in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead into the eighth.
Belmont finally got some offense going in the bottom of the eighth, as senior Derek Hamblen (Plano, Texas) led off the inning with a double to left field. Senior Nate Woods (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), who struck out as the next batter, ended up reaching first base after the third strike went in the dirt and the Govs' catcher attempted to throw out Hamblen at second.
Senior Matt Zeblo (Raleigh, N.C.) then singled down the left field line to drive in both Hamblen and Woods. Down 5-3, the Bruins tied the game as Egerton drove in Zeblo with his team-leading eighth home run of the season.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Austin Peay added another two runs in the ninth to come away with the 7-5 victory. The Govs finished with seven runs on 12 hits and no errors. Greg Bachman recorded the first homer at Rose Park with a solo shot in the first inning, while four other Governors tallied two hits in the win. Ryne Harper improved to 2-1 on the season after allowing no hits in one and two thirds of an inning.
BU totaled five runs on eight hits and four errors. Akers' and Egerton's homer, as well as Zeblo's two RBI single led the Bruins at the plate, but sophomore Jared Breen (Marietta, Ga.) also continued his hot hitting streak with a double and a single in the defeat. Senior Jon Ivie (Summertown, Tenn.) falls to 1-1 on the season after allowing the final two runs of the game to the Govs.
Belmont will next travel to Middle Tennessee for another non-conference game, taking on the Blue Raiders at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday night.