Jackson, MS-The Belhaven baseball team completed a three game sweep of Loyola University at Smith-Wills Stadium in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference action on Saturday. The Blazers dominated game one of the doubleheader winning 13-0 in six innings and went on to take game two 10-0 in seven innings.
The beginning of game didn’t see a lot of offense until Belhaven cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the third inning. The Blazers opened the frame with three straight hits starting with a double by Craig Dean. Shawn Diehl tripled Dean home for the first run and then Drew Dillard shot a single up the middle to plate Diehl making the score 2-0 in favor of the Blazers.
Belhaven (11-3, 6-2 GCAC) picked up three more runs in the fourth on Dean’s fourth home run of the season. Dean went the opposite way down the right field line hooking the ball around the foul pole driving in all three runs in the inning. Leading 5-0, Belhaven tacked on another run in the fifth thanks to an RBI double by Timmy Foster that chased home Lake Eiland who reached on an error by right fielder David McChesney.
The Blazers ended the game in the bottom of the sixth when the offense exploded for seven runs on five hits. Eiland drove in the first run of the inning on a single to right field and Brandon Benton followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to make the score 8-0. Another run scoring hit by Foster marked the end of the afternoon for relief pitcher Carl Labit who gave way to Eric Walsh.
Trailing 9-0, Loyola (3-9, 3-9 GCAC) had to figure out way to get out of the inning without allowing another run in order to prevent the 10 run rule from taking effect. Fortunately for the Blazers, catcher Derek Tortorich had different plans. Walsh issued a free pass to Jordan Brewer to load the bases and then Tortorich launched a grand slam over the right center field wall to end the game.
Ryan Kassab got the win for Belhaven on the mound pitching all six innings allowing only five hits while striking out four Wolfpack batters to go to 2-0 on the season. Tortorich led the Blazers offense with four RBI’s followed by Dean with three runs batted in. Foster added two RBI’s while Drew Dillard, Eiland, Benton, and Diehl each turned in single RBI’s. Dean, Foster, Dillard, Benton, and Diehl all had two hits apiece in game one of the day.
George Smith suffered the loss for the Wolfpack in game one allowing five runs on five hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Brooks McMinn had two of Loyola’s five hits in the contest.
The Belhaven bats stayed hot in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday and the Blazers made the most of their opportunities with runners on base. Belhaven got things going early in game two scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning off Loyola starter Hunter Tyree. Eiland brought in the first two runs of the inning with his first home run of the season over the left field fence. John Michael Williamson made it 3-0 on an RBI single to center field plating Benton from third base.
Three innings later in the bottom of the fourth, the Blazers tallied four more runs with the aid of just two hits. Dean dropped an RBI single into left field and later in the inning courtesy runner Mark Gray scored on a wild pitch. Dillard collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field and Diehl touched home plate on a throwing error by catcher Bradley Brunet.
Belhaven picked up two more runs in the fifth after two men were out. Williamson reached on an error by shortstop Taylor Domengeaux that kept the inning alive. Alex Riser singled and Dean came through with another big hit driving a two run double down the left field line to make it a 9-0 Belhaven lead. The Blazers posted run number 10 in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two out single to right field by Foster and then relief pitcher Golden Grasse retired Loyola in order in the top of the seventh to lock down the 10-0 victory.
Alan McHenry started game two and earned his fourth win of the season giving up seven hits while striking out six. McHenry weaved his way in and out of trouble in the early innings, but settled down to get the win running his record to 4-1 in 2010. Dean led the hit parade for the Blazers going 2 for 3 at the plate with a game high three RBI’s. Eiland had two runs batted in while Dillard, Foster, and Williamson tallied an RBI apiece. Riser had two hits as he got the start behind home plate for Belhaven in game two.
Tyree took the loss for Loyola as he lasted the first 3.1 innings allowing six of the ten runs on six hits. Trey Campeaux was responsible for three unearned runs while Mike Kelly was charged with the games tenth run. McMinn had a good game at the plate for Loyola turning in three hits in four at bats while Tyler Duplantis had two hits in three official plate appearances for the Wolfpack. Loyola stranded 10 base runners in the game.