Under the leadership of Head Coach Dave Jarvis and his coaching staff, Belmont Baseball has risen to new heights in NCAA Division I Baseball
Years of hard work were rewarded in 2011, as Belmont earned its first NCAA Tournament automatic bid as champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
A local tournament darling in the Nashville Regional, the Bruins methodically disposed of former National Champion and 19-time College World Series participant Oklahoma State and Sun Belt Champion, Troy in consecutive days to reach the regional final.
Though Belmont's dream run would end at the hands of host Vanderbilt, the Bruins have beaten the National Champion Commodores 16 times over the years.
In 2012, Belmont followed up its successful 2011 campaign with an even more impressive one. Belmont won a program-record 39 games en route to the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship and a second-straight conference tournament championship.
The Bruins' farewell to the Atlantic Sun and arrival in the OVC was cemented with a 10-4 triumph over Kennesaw State and another berth in the coveted NCAA bracket.
BRUINS IN THE PROS
The Belmont program has quietly become a steady pipeline to professional baseball. Belmont has produced 40 players that have gone on to careers in MLB organizations, including 26 since 2005.
One notable alumni of the program is Dwight Bernard who went onto five years in the big leagues with the Mets and Brewers. He currently serves as the pitching coach for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Former Bruin Jerry Bell was drafted in the second round of the 1969 draft and played four seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers. He posted a career big league ERA of 3.28.
Matt Beaty ('15), former Belmont Baseball standout, was drafted in the 12th round by the Dodgers in 2015.
Beaty played in 200 career games for the Bruins, starting in 198 of them. During his time at Belmont, he earned All-American and All-OVC honors as a senior and currently ranks in the top-10 in Belmont baseball history in 11 different statistical categories.
Beaty was named the 2017 Texas League MVP while playing for the Tulsa Drillers. In that season, he led the league in batting with a .326 average and added 15 homers and 69 RBI.
After working his way up through the Dodgers organization, Beaty was recently named to the Los Angeles Dodgers' 40-man roster.
Drew Ferguson ('15) was drafted in the 19th round by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft. He was a standout center fielder for the Houston Astros triple-A affiliate with one of the best on base percentages in the league.
Ferguson was recently selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the San Fransisco Giants making it on the club's 40-man roster.
Dylan King was recently selected in the 18th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels. The standout right-handed hurler was an unstoppable force on the mound for the Bruins, earning 2017 OVC First Team Honors and 2018 Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors. His 108 punch outs in 2017 were the second-most any Bruin has recorded in a single season.
Belmont outfielder Matt Cogen was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. In his final season at Belmont, Cogen led Belmont in nearly every offensive category while recording 116 putouts and six assists on the season in right field. His .372 batting average in 2018 was one of the top-10 single season averages in Belmont history. Cogen earned 2017 OVC All-Conference Freshman Team and 2018 All-Conference First Team honors.
Tyler Walsh was picked in the 33rd round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels. Walsh currently plays for the Arizona League Angels of the Angels system.
James Buckelew was drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft in the round of 45 by the Minnesota Twins. Buckelew is currently in the Chicago Cubs system, pitching for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.
Jamie Ritchie was selected in the 13th round by the Houston Astros in the 2014 MLB Draft. He was recently promoted from the Astros' Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks to the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.
Austin Coley was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Coley spent time on the mound for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians and the Double-A Altoona Curve.
Chase Cunningham, a 2015 graduate of Belmont University, is currently pitching for the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.
Relief pitcher Patrick McGrath just finished his fourth season on the mound for the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League.
Belmont Alum Dan Ludwing is currently pitching for the River City Rascals of the Frontier league.
Aaron Quillen was drafted in 2016 by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round. Quillen spent three years in the professional ranks, most recently pitching for the Dayton Dragons. After three years playing professionally, Quillen decided to step away from playing the game to be a coach. He is currently the pitching coach at Oak Ridge High School.
Dave Jarvis has been a consistent presence in leading Belmont Baseball to new heights in the NCAA Division I Era.
Entering his 22nd season at the helm of Belmont's baseball program, Coach Jarvis has cultivated a rich program that's seen success both on the field and in the classroom. Throughout his tenure, Jarvis has led BU to three conference championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. Jarvis has led the Bruins to eight seasons with 30 or more wins.
Jarvis fine-tuned his coaching ability with a nine-year stint as head coach at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo., from 1985-93. With Jarvis at the helm, the Raiders were consistently ranked in the National Junior College Athletic Association top-20 poll, highlighted by a No. 4 ranking in 1992. Jarvis broke into NCAA Division I baseball as an assistant with Murray State in the fall of 1993.
Aaron Smith enters his tenth season at Belmont and first as the Associate Head Coach. Smith's main duties entail working with the infielders, hitters, coaching third base and heading up the recruitment of student-athletes. In his time at Belmont, Smith has coached 23 First and Second Team All-Conference position players, 10 players that were elected to the All-Freshman team, and two Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament MVPs. In all, 21 former Belmont players have gone on to play professional baseball since the 2010 season.
Caleb Longshore joined the Belmont staff in June of 2018. Longshore's main duties entail working with Belmont's talented pitching staff. Prior to Belmont, Longshore spent time as the pitching coach at Arkansas State and, more recently, Middle Tennessee. His coaching experience also extends west, as he has served at California Baptist University and as associate head coach at NAIA powerhouse Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Zach Mitchell is serving as an assistant coach for Belmont Baseball this season. The graduate of Belmont University was part of Belmont Baseball during two of its best seasons to date. He helped lead the Bruins to consecutive ASUN Championships and NCAA Tournament berths.
Belmont Baseball gives its athletes a unique opportunity to give back to the Nashville community and beyond.
Belmont Baseball has teamed up with the Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch for the last several years to become one of its favorite annual events. The foundation supports pediatric cancer and patients' families.
In its backyard at E.S. Rose Park, Belmont Baseball serves its neighborhood by putting on annual Parkwood Clinic days as they welcome members of the Parkwood Baseball Association to its field. The team conducts drills, hosts batting practice and plays games with Nashville's inner city youth during the clinic.
Baseball has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the needy in the Nashville area.
Members of the team spent the day helping to build a home from the ground up for a family in need.
Belmont hosted MLB's final Play Ball Clinic of 2018 at E.S. Rose Park. The kids had the chance to interact and play with professional and collegiate players.
Belmont University Athletics offers Sports Ministry Mission trips to all athletes. Baseball has been a big participant in these trips, serving around the United States and in countries throughout the world.
Academics are a priority for Belmont Student Athletes
Belmont's departmental grade point average has been 3.0 or higher for 42 consecutive semesters. Baseball has received many academic achievements and has been a seven time recipient of the prestigious NCAA Public Recognition Award. The honor is awarded to teams with an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top ten percent of all squads nationally in their respective sports. Baseball is a consistent presence on the OVC Academic Honor Roll.
Belmont University partnered with Nashville's Metro Board of Parks and Recreation to provide $8 million worth of enhancements to nearby E.S. Rose Park, which also allows the university to lease space for athletics. Rose Park opened for play in April 2011 and houses six Bruin teams.
With its majestic view of the downtown Nashville skyline, the enhancements at Rose Park provide resources for the Edgehill community and Belmont student-athletes including accessible walking trails and softball, baseball, track and soccer fields. In fact, in just its fourth-ever game at Rose Park, Belmont Baseball set an NCAA record with 19 runs in the first inning against UT Martin.
Belmont's state-of-the-art weight room is a 1600 square foot area that offers several amenities for use by Belmont and its student-athletes.
The facility contains all new equipment including three power stations with customized platforms, customized dumbbells from 5-to-150 pounds, a variety of free weight equipment as well as machines and a variety of speed, agility and plyometric equipment.
OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE
Now in its 70th year, the Ohio Valley Conference continues to build on the success that has made it the nation's eighth-oldest NCAA Division I Conference.
In May 2011, the Conference expanded for the second time in four years, adding Belmont University who began competition in the 2012-2013 academic year. The addition of Belmont gave the OVC 12 members - the most the league has had at one time in its illustrious history. The move added a second team in the city of Nashville. Subsequently, the league has shown its stability over the past decade, seeing only one member institution depart over the past 14 years.
The 2009-2010 school year saw a change in leadership as Beth DeBausche was named the seventh full-time Commissioner in league history on July 28, 2009. She is currently one of just six females to be the head of a Division I conference and one of just nine to lead a Division I conference all-time. The last three commissioners of the OVC have moved onto jobs as the commissioner of the Big Ten, Big 12 and the Mid-American Conferences.
The Belmont Athletic Training staff is primarily responsible for the delivery of quality healthcare to all student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic programs at Belmont University. This care will be provided by the guidelines of the NATA through prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses sustained during any practice or game.
Founded by renowned surgeon and NFL physician Dr. Burton Elrod, Elite Sports Medicine & Orthopedics will oversee all preventative care, athletic training, and rehabilitation services for Belmont University Athletics and its student-athletes.
The Belmont Athletic Training department is housed in an 1860 square foot space within the Curb Event Center. The facility is fully-equipped with a hydroroom, taping area, treatment and rehabilitation area, as well as physician’s office. Belmont’s 17 varsity sports are staffed by seven National Athletic Training Association certified athletic trainers.
Curtis Jefferson is Belmont Baseball's head athletic trainer. Jefferson's sole focus at Belmont is baseball and he attends all practices and games.
For the 10th consecutive year, Belmont University has achieved a Top 10 regional ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 edition of America's Best Colleges.
Consistently recognized as a "Most Innovative" university, Belmont University draws more than 8,300 students who represent every state and more than 36 countries. The campus sits on 84 picturesque acres that are located just two miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee, a dynamic and vibrant hub for government, healthcare, music, tourism and more. A private, four-year university, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University's purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world's needs.
Our mission: Belmont University is a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.
Our vision: To be a leader among teaching universities, bringing together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service.
Our values: As a student-centered Christian community with a rich Baptist heritage, Belmont University upholds the following core values as essential to the intellectual, spiritual, personal and corporate life: Integrity, Inquiry, Collaboration, Service and Humility.
By any measure, Nashville is one of the most desirable places to live and most sought-after tourist destinations in the world.
‘The Music City’ can best be described as a pleasant mix of big city entertainment and "down home" friendliness. Nashville is located in the heart of our nation’s bustling core. Major cities such as St. Louis, Cincinnati, Memphis, Atlanta, and Birmingham can all be reached by car within 3-5 hours. And when going from work to play, Nashville has it all. The city offers a multitude of sporting events, recreational opportunities, restaurants, parks, and shopping malls.
The sports landscape in Nashville has changed dramatically over the past two decades with the introduction of major professional sports into the area. The Nashville Predators have introduced the thrills of the National Hockey League to Middle Tennessee. For the past two seasons, the Predators have been among the premier organizations in the NHL. Nashville became a national sensation in 2017 en route to the Western Conference Championship and berth in the Stanley Cup Finals, then backed it up winning the 2018 Presdidents' Trophy. The Bruins and the Predators have a strong partnership, from corporate engagement and internship programs to fan support and community relations. The Preds skate in one of Nashville’s downtown landmarks, Bridgestone Arena. The 18,000 seat Bridgestone Arena is a regular venue for touring groups and international artists, such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and Coldplay.
The arrival of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans in 1998 brought instant credibility and excitement to the Mid-State. The Titans have won two division titles and one conference championship. Tennessee represented the AFC in Super Bowl XXXIV, playing the St. Louis Rams in one of the most memorable games in NFL history. With former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota at the controls, the future looks bright for the powder blue and white. Home for the Titans is Nissan Stadium, a 68,000 seat, state-of-the-art facility located on the east bank of the Cumberland River across from downtown. Aside from the NFL, Nissan Stadium also plays host to several major concerts and sporting events, including the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - which now pits teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conferences each December. Nashville will host the 2019 NFL Draft. Moreover, international soccer loves Music City, with friendlies and United States National Team matches regularly on the docket. Nissan Stadium played host to the Gold Cup, with Nashville as a potential host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Another constant among Nashville professional sports over the past two decades has been the Nashville Sounds. The Sounds, who have called Music City home since 1978, compete in the Pacific Coast League as the Class AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Through the years, players like Don Mattingly, Willie McGee, Chris Sabo, Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, and Ricky Weeks have used Nashville to jumpstart MLB stardom. The 2006 PCL Champion Sounds play at Greer Stadium, located just minutes from downtown and the former longtime home of Belmont Baseball. In 2015, the Sounds opened First Tennessee Park.
Though the Nashville Superspeedway took a final bow in the summer of 2011, middle Tennessee remains a hotbed for NASCAR and IRL racing. Furthermore, Nashville has established itself as the ideal place to host a major sporting event. In the past decade alone, the city has hosted events such as the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournament, the SEC men's and women's basketball tournaments, numerous AAU national championships, international soccer matches, and the U.S. Swimming Championships. Recently, Nashville hosted the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four to universal praise and hosted preliminary rounds of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Moreover, Nashville annually hosts the popular St. Jude Rock N’ Roll Marathon, one of the nation’s top distance races. In addition, Nashville will play host to the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur golf championship.
In addition, Nashville has been awarded a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise, with play slated to begin in 2020.
Recreation is second-to-none in Nashville. Located in the picturesque hills of Middle Tennessee, Nashville boasts thousands of acres of public parks and offers a variety of outdoor activities like golf, boating, fishing, and hiking. Belmont has been named among top colleges in the nation for outdoor enthusiasts.
Known as "Music City USA", Nashville is a city whose musical tastes range from country to rock to gospel. The city has several major concert venues and many big-name concert tours consider Nashville a “must-stop.” The city also serves as home to the Grand Ole Opry, the nation's longest running weekly radio show, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville has long been the mecca of the country music industry and is one of the top recording centers in the world. All of the music industry's major recording labels have a presence in Music Row, just north of the Belmont campus.
The nightlife in downtown Nashville offers something for everyone. Amidst the savory sights and sounds of historic Second Avenue sit some of the most venerable hot spots anywhere. From Wildhorse Saloon and Hard Rock Cafe to Famous Dave’s BBQ and The Pancake Pantry, it is not uncommon to bump into stars of stage and screen in Nashville.
Nashville's cultural environment earned the city its other nickname, the "Athens of the South." Nashville is well known as a major education center. The area's 10 accredited four-year and postgraduate institutions, including Belmont, are an integral part of the economic and cultural identity of the area. In addition to its educational institutions, the city offers numerous cultural and artistic venues. It is home to nine performing arts facilities, including the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. TPAC is the home to a wide range of events, including Broadway musicals and performances by the Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and the Nashville Symphony. The city is also home to seven art galleries, including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The Frist Center, housed in the city's old main post office, presents a wide assortment of visual arts exhibitions. Nashville boasts 25 museums (including the Tennessee State Museum), numerous historic sites (like The Hermitage - home of President Andrew Jackson, an exact replica of the Parthenon, and the Natchez Trace Parkway), and an upgraded public library system that includes a new $50 million downtown library. Lastly, the newest addition to the downtown landscape, the magnificent Music City Center convention center opened Spring 2013 and further cements Nashville’s place as a desired international meeting place.
Simply put, Nashville is the cornerstone of the Mid-South economy. It has become a leader in printing and publishing, music and entertainment, finance and insurance, healthcare management, automobile and other related industry, manufacturing and tourism. Internationally known companies like Amazon, AT&T, Bridgestone/Firestone, Caterpillar Financial, Dell, Dollar General, HCA, Louisiana Pacific, Nissan, State Farm, Tractor Supply Co., and UPS have significant operations in the city.
Sporting a mild climate with distinct changes in season - warm summers, colorful autumns, brisk winters, and beautiful springs - no two days are alike in Nashville.