The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Inside-the-park home run propels Belmont over Dogs


Dylan Craig’s two-run inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning gave the Belmont Bruins baseball team a come-from-behind win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs 2-1.

For the first eight innings, Devin Jones threw a masterful game for the Bulldogs, allowing only no runs, three hits and three walks while striking out five. At the end of the eighth, he had retired 13 of the last 15 Belmont batters.

He took the mound in the ninth trying to become the first Bulldog pitcher to record a complete game shutout since 2003. Then things started to unravel.

Derek Hamblin lined a single to right center, and then Craig hit a deep ball over centerfielder Brent Brownlee’s head. By the time Brownlee fielded the ball and threw in back into the infield, Hamblin and Craig had rounded the bases, giving Belmont a 2-1 lead.

“Brent Brownlee’s made that play a thousand times,” head coach John Cohen said. “I’m not sure what happened on that play. We probably should have had him playing a lot deeper than that.”

Caleb Reed finished the inning for the Bulldogs without allowing any more runs, but the Bulldogs were unable to even get a hit in the ninth.

“It’s always tough to lose like that. That’s baseball,” Jones said.

Cohen praised Jones’s performance despite the loss.

“Devin really, really pitched well,” Cohen said. “It’s one swing that beats you. You think you’re in position, and you think you’ve got the right guy there, and it’s a split second that beats you. ”

Cohen said he did not regret sending Jones back out there in the ninth or leaving him in with a runner on to face Craig.

“You get a runner on first base; you’ve got [the batter] 1-2. [Jones] our best opportunity to get a ground ball. We can bring in [Luis] Pollorena at that point in time, but he’s not going to get a ground ball — he’s more of a fly ball guy,” Cohen said. “When the temperature’s like it is right now, bringing a guy out of the bullpen with as small of a zone as we had today, you’re running a real risk right there.”

The loss drops Jones to 1-1 on the season. Josh Davis picked up the win for the Bruins, improving him to 2-0 this year.

The Bulldogs had a quiet day at the plate, only producing six hits, none of which were extra-base hits. The Bulldogs were 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

The Bulldogs’ only run came in the second inning when Daryl Norris scored as Belmont turned a double play. Norris was on third at the time and taking a risky extra base on Cody Freeman’s single to shallow right center. Cohen praised Norris’s aggressiveness in setting up an opportunity to score despite the team’s soft-hitting day.

“Anytime a ball is in front of you like that, our kids are own their own. He made that decision on his own. He attacked the game and got to third base,” Cohen said.

The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field, hosting Belmont again. Chris Stratton is expected to start for the Bulldogs.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Inside-the-park home run propels Belmont over Dogs