Racers take two from Belmont

Photo by Kelli O'Toole/The News

Story by Kelly Diesel, Staff writer

Murray State’s baseball team looked to improve on a 20-21 record in its series against Belmont last weekend.

GAME ONE

The Racers won big on Friday by a final score of 16-4.

Senior pitcher Ryan Dills got the start for the Racers in Friday’s game. Dills came into game one 2-2 with 57.2 innings pitched, an ERA of 5.77 and 61 strikeouts.

The Bruins got on the board first, with senior infielder Tyler Walsh hitting a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring freshman outfielder Matt Cogen in the bottom of the second inning.

The Racers responded with three runs of their own in the top of the third inning, starting with an RBI single to center field from senior outfielder Adam Bauer, tying the game 1-1.

Later in the third, senior first baseman Jack Hranec hit an RBI single to center field, scoring Bauer from second. Freshman infielder Davis Sims reached on an error that scored junior outfielder Brandon Gutzler and gave Murray State a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Belmont’s senior catcher Clay Payne hit a solo home run to left center field, making it a 3-2 game. The Bruins tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI double from sophomore infielder Chas Hadden.

Murray State took control in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run from freshman outfielder Ryan Perkins and a sacrifice fly to left field from Bauer.

In the fifth inning, the Racers scored six runs off RBIs from senior catcher Tyler Lawrence, sophomore infielder Jaron Robinson, Gutzler and Bauer. Murray State scored one more run in the seventh and four more in the eighth to take a 16-4 victory.

GAME TWO

Murray State came away with a 6-4 win in extra innings in what was its second meeting with the Bruins.

Lawrence started the scoring for the Racers in the first inning with an RBI single to left field. Later in the inning, Sims reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Bauer and put Murray State up 2-0.

A solo home run from Gutzler in the third, and an RBI single from junior infielder Caleb Hicks in the fourth inning gave the Racers a 4-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, Belmont got on the board with an RBI single down the left field line from senior catcher Nick Egli that scored two runs. The Bruins added two more runs in the sixth inning with an RBI single to left field from junior infielder Rafael Bournigal, tying the game 4-4.

Tied after 11 innings, Murray State took a 6-4 lead off an RBI single to center field from Perkins in the top of the 12th. The Racers held onto its two-run lead and took game two of the three-game series.

GAME THREE

The Racers lost game three to the Bruins by a final score of 14-4 on Sunday.

Moulder said the loss on Sunday is just how it goes sometimes.

“That’s baseball,” Moulder said. “Our pitching wasn’t great and I think we came out a little flat and they jumped us. That’s just how it is.”

Bournigal started the scoring for Belmont with a solo home run to left center field in the first inning. Junior infielder Ben Kocher added a run with a two-run RBI single to left field to put Belmont on top 3-0.

Belmont continued their scoring in the second inning by scoring five runs, starting with Cogen getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. A wild pitch scored another run, followed by a three-run RBI double to left field from Kocher.

The Racers got on the board in the third inning with a solo home run from senior outfielder Aaron Bence, making it an 8-1 game.

Belmont added three more runs in the fourth inning with RBIs from junior infielder Kyle Conger, junior outfielder Cully Day and Cogen.

Sims scored a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning to make it a 11-2 game in favor of the Racers.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Day doubled to left field scoring Conger.

The Racers scored two more runs in the seventh inning with RBIs from Hranec and Sims, but the Bruins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a two-run RBI double from Kocher. The Bruins won by a final score of 14-4.

Head Coach Kevin Moulder said he was satisfied with the team over the weekend.

“We played fairly well playing on the road,” Moulder said. “To get two out of three against a quality team like Belmont is a good accomplishment.”

Murray State will take on the University of Missouri next at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 in Columbia, Missouri. The game can be seen on the SEC Network.