Bowling Green, Ky. — Belmont (4-4) used a five-run third inning and a five-run seventh inning to power past Western Kentucky University (5-2) 12-8 on Tuesday at Nick Denes Field.
The Toppers got off to a fast start in the first, scoring four runs off of three hits, including back-to-back home runs by Chad Cregar and Wade Gaynor. Cregar's home run was a three-run shot, giving him four home runs and 12 RBI in just seven games, while Gaynor hit his third home run of the season.
The Bruins rallied back in the top of the third off of WKU starting pitcher Bart Carter, scoring five runs off of six hits to take a 5-4 lead. Belmont used six singles to plate all five runs in the inning.
Belmont hurler Garrett Fanchier settled down after the rocky opening frame, to hold the Toppers' scoreless over the next three innings and giving up only two other hits.
WKU regained the lead in the home half of the sixth after Matt Rice reached on an error and scored following a Jared Andreoli double. Andreoli then scored the go ahead run after Matt Payton singled up the middle to give the Toppers' a 6-5 lead.
The lead was short-lived however, as Belmont used a three RBI double from Mark Noth to cap off a five-run inning that gave the Bruins a 10-6 lead. Chad Adcock, who was tagged with four runs in the inning, did work two perfect innings prior, striking out three.
WKU cut the Bruin lead in half in the bottom of the seventh, after Matt Rice hit a two-run homer over the right field fence, plating Wade Gaynor who had walked.
However, WKU would not get any closer, as Belmont padded their lead in the top half of the ninth on a Brandon McCall two-run home run off of releiver J.B. Paxson into the right-field bullpen, to give the Bruins a 12-8 advantage and secure the win.
Cameron Heath (1-0) got the win on the mound for the Bruins, as he worked 2.0 innings, giving up one run off of three hits and striking out one.
Chad Adcock (0-1) suffered the pitching loss for WKU, going 3.1 innings, giving up four runs off of four hits, and striking out three.
Ben Paxton and Garrie Krueger combined to work 1.2 innings, striking out two and giving up no runs and no hits.
WKU and Belmont will square off again in Nashville tommorrow afternoon at 3pm.