A pair of home runs in the fourth allowed Belmont University to pull away in an 8-5 win over Eastern Kentucky University in the opener of an Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Earle Combs Stadium on Thursday.
With EKU down by just two, 4-2, Belmont’s Jackson Campbell led off the top of the fourth with a home run over the wall in left field. With one on and two outs later in the inning, Hunter Holland hit one out over the wall in left center to make it a 7-2 game.
Eastern was down 8-3 in the bottom of the eighth when catcher A.J. Lewis hit a two-out, two-run home run over the wall in left center. It was his eighth of the season and cut the Bruin lead to three.
The Colonels (28-25, 14-14 OVC) cut a 4-0 deficit in half when Nick Howie singled up the middle with two outs to bring home Will Johnson and Ryland Kerr.
Chas Hadden had a 3-for-4 day with two runs and an RBI for Belmont (26-26, 18-10 OVC). Campbell finished 2-for-2 with two walks, a run and two RBIs. Casey Queener (5-3) got the win after allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Kerr finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Howie and Lewis both scored a run and drove in two. Eastern received solid middle relief performances from Jacob Abbott and Jake Lewis. Abbott allowed one run on three hits and struck out six in three innings of work. Lewis did not allow a base runner and struck out three in one and two-thirds innings.
The series continues with game two on Friday at 6 p.m.
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