NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  University of Evansville graduate outfielder Mark Shallenberger launched two home runs on Saturday, and graduate catcher Brendan Hord added a home run of his own, as the visiting Purple Aces powered past the host Belmont Bruins, 8-3, at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville, Tennessee to win the Missouri Valley Conference series.  UE will go for a series sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

“I am really proud of our overall effort today,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll.  “It really started on the mound for us, as Donovan Schultz was electric today and really stepped up big for us to help get us the series win on a Saturday.

“Offensively, we had a lot of different guys step up today.  Obviously, Mark Shallenberger hitting two home runs today was huge for us, but Harrison Taubert had some great two-strike hits today, and I really want to commend Brendan Hord on the job he did today both offensive and behind home plate.  Brendan really did a tremendous job for us today.”

Hord got Evansville on the board first in the second inning with a three-run home run down the left-field line.  Shallenberger then added a two-run blast to right-center field in the fifth inning to give UE a 5-0 lead.  Then, after an RBI double by junior outfielder Harrison Taubert in the sixth inning, Shallenberger crushed a mammoth home run to right field to give UE an 8-0 advantage.

The eight runs were more than enough for graduate left-hander Donovan Schultz (1-1), who earned his first victory of the year with seven strong innings on the mound.  Schultz held the Bruins scoreless through the first six innings on just two hits.  Belmont would finally scratch across two runs against Schultz in the seventh inning, but the graduate left-hander equaled a career-high with 7.0 innings of work, allowing just two runs on four hits, while striking out six.

Taubert led UE offensively by posting his second four-hit game of the year, with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.  Shallenberger also went 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and four RBI.  Evansville out-hit Belmont, 12-5, on the afternoon.

With the victory, Evansville improves to 14-16 overall and 4-4 in the MVC, while extending its winning streak to four-straight games.  Belmont, meanwhile, suffers its second-straight loss and drops to 16-15 overall and 4-4 in the Valley.  The series will conclude on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.  Evansville has not yet announced a starter for Sunday’s contest.  Sunday’s game can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and can be seen on-line on ESPN+.