BELMONT – As the weather starts to warm up, so are the bats for the Belmont Braves baseball team.
The Braves (7-6 overall, 5-3 Six Rivers Conference) banged out 22 runs runs on 24 hits en route to a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Black Hawk Warriors at BHS on Friday, May 3.
Belmont rolled to a 12-2 win over the Warriors (0-12, 0-6) in five innings in game one, and then rallied from an early 4-1 deficit to defeat Black Hawk by a score of 10-5 in game two.
The Braves plated runs in 11 of the 12 innings played on Friday night.
Sophomore Riley Christensen hammered home runs in each game to lead the Braves, finishing the day going 4-for-8 at the plate with four runs driven in and three runs scored. He had a solo shot in the fourth inning of the opener, and added a two-run blast in the sixth inning of the nightcap.
Senior Colin Austin went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI in game one and had a triple with two more runs scored and another RBI in game two. Junior Brady Wedig had four RBI and scored three runs for the Braves in the twinbill.
Belmont plated four runs in the home-half of the first inning, and then added insurance runs in each of the next four innings to rout the Warriors in game one.
Black Hawk grabbed a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning in game two following a three-run home run by Jexen Stietz. However, the Braves tallied two runs apiece in the second and third innings to regain the lead at 5-4, and then went up 9-4 with a three-run rally in the sixth inning to secure the sweep.
Justan Ernst had two hits and two runs for the Braves in the opener, while Luke Kamps drove in two runs and scored another run in the run-rule victory. Ethan James had two hits and a run for the Braves in game two, and Will Cutler added a RBI-double for the hosts.
James (2-2) earned the win on the mound in game one, allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts over four innings of work. Austin (3-1) picked up the win in relief in game two, yielding just a run on two hits with no walks and eight Ks ovedr the final five innings.
Avery Baumgartner went 2-for-3 with a RBI for Black Hawk in game one, while Je. Stietz finished with four RBI and a run scored in game two. Jayden Stietz added a RBI in the nightcap for the Warriors.
Belmont got its offense rolling in a 7-6 non-conference victory over Southwestern at home on Thursday, May 2, and the Braves kept things rolling by bashing their way to an 11-1 Six Rivers West victory over Ridge Ridge back at home on Monday, May 6.
Christensen doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a two-out, RBI-single by Kamps in the bottom of sixth inning to rally passed the Wildcats on Thursday afternoon.
Wedig had a pair of two-run singles for the Braves, while James and Austin each scored twice for the hosts. Kolton Westemeier doubled and scored a run in the game.
Against the Timberwolves on Monday, the Braves used a seven-run rally in the home-half of the fifth inning to break open a tight game. James belted a two-run home run in the fifth, while Cody Lindholm added a two-run single, and Christensen doubled and scored a run for the hosts.
James finished 2-for-3 with a homer, a double, three RBI and a run. Christensen went 2-for-3 a run and three RBI, and Lindholm had two RBI and two runs scored in the win.
Kamps (1-2) picked up the win on the mound against the Wildcats, and Austin earned the completed win against the ‘Wolves.
Belmont has a Six Rivers crossover doubleheader scheduled at home Argyle on Friday, May 10, starting at 4:30 p.m., and a Six Rivers West doubleheader at Highland on Tuesday, May 14, also beginning at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, May 11, the Braves will participate in the North Crawford Tournament in Soldiers Grove, starting at 10 a.m.
Black Hawk… 002 00 – 2 3 5
Belmont…….. 421 41 – 12 11 0
Leading Hitters: BH– Avery Baumgartner 2x3. BEL– Colin Austin 2x3, Riley Christensen 2x3, Justan Ernst 2x3. HR– Christensen.
WP- Ethan James (4 In, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB,10 K).
LP- Jayden Stietz (2 In, 6 R, 6 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 K).
Belmont…….. 122 103 1 – 10 13 6
Black Hawk… 400 001 0 – 5 5 5
Leading Hitters: BEL– Ethan James 2x3, Riley Christensen 2x5, Brady Wedig 2x4. HR– Christensen. 3B– Colin Austin. 2B– Will Cutler. BH– HR– Jexen Stietz.
WP- Austin (5 In, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K).
LP- Avery Baumgartner (2.33 In, 5 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 1 K).
At Belmont, on Friday, May 3
Southwestern… 102 030 0 – 6 8 3
Belmont……….. 230 101 x – 7 10 3
Leading Hitters: S– Kephart 2x4, Cayden Splinter 2x3. 3B– Splinter. B– Brady Wedig 2x3, Riley Christensen 3x4. 2B– Christensen, Kolton Westemeier.
WP- Luke Kamps (6 In, 6 R, 5 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 K). S- Ethan James (1 In, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K).
LP- Pearce (2 In, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K).
At Belmont, on Thursday, May 2
Belmont……….. 112 07 – 11 8 0
River Ridge…… 001 00 – 1 3 5
Leading Hitters: B– Ethan James 2x3, Riley Christensen 2x3. HR– James. 2B– James, Christensen. RR– 2B– Quick.
WP- Colin Austin (5 In, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K).
LP- Moravits (4.67 In, 10 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 6 K).
At Belmont, on Monday, May 6