By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
MOOREVILLE – How much to invest on the last Tuesday of the regular season?
Already having clinched the Division 1-3A title last week, the Belmont Cardinals invested in timely hitting Tuesday night to foil the Mooreville Trooprs 6-4, concluding the regular season for both teams.
“We had a sour taste in our mouth from last night,” said Belmont head coach Andy Deaton, who saw his Cardinals fall 10-2 Monday against Mooreville. “We hadn’t lost since the Monday after spring break, so we rebounded well.
“I got to see the competitive nature of our guys tonight.”
Mooreville (15-8, 6-4) was battling for an advantageous No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs that start Thursday, but both the Troopers and Cardinals started underclassmen on the mound with the post-season just two days away.
Belmont (16-3, 9-1) struck decisively in the middle innings, beginning with two in the top of the fourth on errors and a wild pitch. The Cardinals then plated three in the fifth as Luke Alexander and Bryan Malone had RBI hits.
The Troopers responded with a solo run in the bottom of the fourth on and error. Then in the sixth, the Troopers plated three, which included RBIs by Tyler Moore and Jacob Benefield.
Belmont manufactured an insurance run in the seventh as Alexander singled, and the Mississippi State signee later scored for a two-run margin.
“Belmont got a few more hits in situations tonight,” Mooreville coach Derek Thompson said. “I feel when we run our guys out on the mound, we can compete with anybody.
“I was pleased with what I saw tonight.”
Belmont will open the playoffs against South Pontotoc, while Mooreville will play Louisville.