The last two non-conference games for Western couldn’t have gone much differently, but they both ended up as Topper wins.
After scoring 11 runs on Tuesday, Western (24-7) managed just three Wednesday night against Belmont but still held on for a 3-2 victory.
Junior Brian Edelen worked 3.1 innings and did not give up any earned runs for the game. He put six runners on base but managed to escape each of his innings harmless.
“Pitching across the board the last couple of weeks has been outstanding,” Head Coach Chris Finwood said.
Edelen said his command wasn’t where he wanted it to be, but added that his defense backed him up.
“The defense came up big for me today,” Edelen said. “I couldn’t have kept that lead without them.”
A key play for Edelen came in the third inning when sophomore Kes Carter threw out a runner at home from the outfield, preventing Belmont from making the game 3-2.
“Guys are just finding ways to get it done, “Finwood said.
Western got on the board early in the first inning off of an RBI single from sophomore center fielder Kes Carter. Sophomore right fielder Jared Andreoli drove in two runs in the second on a double to right field.
Western wasn’t able to get any more runs across the plate, but the bullpen helped preserve a victory.
“We hit the ball hard, but we just couldn’t get the big hits,” senior second baseman Matt Payton said. “Our bullpen is the reason we won.”
The bullpen worked the final 5.2 innings of the game, giving up three hits and one run. Sophomore Rye Davis struck out two batters in the final inning to get his Sun Belt Conference-leading seventh save of the year.
The Toppers are back at home on Friday as they face off against South Alabama — the Sun Belt’s league leader — for game one of a three-game series.