NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Scoring five runs in the first two innings, the Belmont baseball team defeated Samford in the first game of the Turface Classic 9-4 on Thursday at Rose Park.
Sophomore Tommy Crider led the way offensively with his fourth three-hit game of his career, with junior Logan Jarvis tying a career high of three RBIs in a 2-for-4 outing at the plate. Sophomore Aaron Hubbell obtained his first career win, coming up with three strikeouts in six innings pitched. Junior Kyle Brennan collected his second save of the season, moving into a tie for eighth with Blake Owen (2005) and Josh Davis (13) for the most career saves in program history with 13.
"Our kids did a really good job of hitting the ground running and were ready to play," head coach Dave Jarvis said. "I also say a lot of that has to do with Aaron Hubbell going out there and giving us a great start. I think that builds confidence and builds momentum in an offense."
Belmont immediately hit the ground running in the bottom of the first inning, with senior Hagan Severance coming up with a leadoff single and sophomore John Behrends drawing a walk. After two stolen bases, freshman Brodey Heaton hit a grounder to the shortstop to drive in the game's first run.
Crider came up with another single and senior Chandler Adkins would load the bases off a Samford error, which was followed by a right field double from junior Logan Jarvis to bring in two more runs and extend the Belmont lead 3-0.
"We were able to control the game from the jump," Logan Jarvis said. "(Hubbell) goes out there and gives us a pretty quick first one and that gets you rolling. No doubt about it, especially against a team we know can swing the bat. Hagan gets a base hit on the first pitch of the game and you're rolling at that point. Everybody is feeling it and they're feeling the pressure. Anybody would be in that spot."
Following a single from freshman Drew Lowry and a drawn walk from Severance in the bottom of the second inning, advancing in scoring position after a balk, Heaton collected his second RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to put Belmont ahead by four runs. Crider came up with his eighth RBI of the season in the next at-bat, scoring Severance from third to give the Bruins a 5-0 lead.
Samford responded in the top of the fourth and fifth inning by combining for four runs to cut the lead to one run, but Belmont answered the bell with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to add insurance. Jarvis hit a single to left field that drove in a run, with a Samford error making it a 7-4 game.
"We feel like we have some depth in our lineup," Dave Jarvis said. "We've got a lot of guys that are contributing as we move into the spring. It's good to see guys step up there to the plate with runners in scoring position and put together good at-bats."
Samford loaded the bases in the top of the eighth with two outs, but Brennan forced a groundout to second base to the only batter he faced in the half inning to keep Belmont's three-run advantage protected.
Belmont loaded the bases in the next half inning, with Behrends hitting a double to left field that scored two runs and put the Bruins ahead by five. Brennan came up with two strikeouts and forced a fly out to left field in the final inning to give Belmont the win and earn his second save of the season.
"I have a ton of faith in our offense," Brennan said. "I know we're going to get our runs. It's easy to pitch when we have a defense like we have. I have a ton of faith in our offense and it makes it a lot easier for me to pitch."
The Bruins return to action on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Rose Park, facing Missouri State in the Turface Classic.