EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Two of the hottest teams in the Missouri Valley Conference will square off this weekend trying to bounce back from their first loss in a while, as the University of Evansville Purple Aces will host the Belmont Bruins in a three-game Valley series at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.

The three-game series will begin on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. with a single game, before a noon Sunday doubleheader will conclude the series.  The first two games of the series can be seen live on ESPN+, with the second game on Sunday being available on ESPN3.  All three games of the series can be heard live in Evansville on 107.1 FM-WJPS and the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network from Learfield.

Both Evansville and Belmont will be looking to bounce back from a loss in their last trip to the diamond, as both teams saw long winning streaks snapped last time out.  Evansville will bring a 16-8 overall record and 3-0 MVC mark into Saturday’s opener after seeing its nine-game winning streak broken on Wednesday against Southeast Missouri State.  Belmont, meanwhile, will enter the weekend set at 14-12 overall and 2-1 in the Valley after seeing a seven-game winning streak snapped in its last game against Illinois State last weekend.

Evansville will enter the weekend series leading the Valley in scoring, with 175 runs in 24 contests.  Fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts is the current MVC Player of the Week, and he will enter this weekend’s action as the only player in NCAA Division I baseball to lead his league in home runs, RBI and stolen bases.  Roberts hit his league-leading 10th home run of the year and collected his MVC-best 33rd RBI on Wednesday night against Southeast Missouri State.  Roberts also leads the Valley with 10 stolen bases, and he is one of just two Division I players currently with double-digit totals in both home runs and stolen bases (North Carolina’s Mac Horvath is the other).

Belmont will counter UE’s offense with a pitching staff which currently leads the MVC with a 4.66 ERA.  Saturday’s starter, Andy Bean, is the current MVC Pitcher of the Week after tossing a complete-game shutout in the Bruins’ 2-0 series-opening win over Illinois State.  Bean will bring a 2-3 overall record and 3.26 ERA into Saturday’s contest, and he has not allowed a run in his last two starts.  The Bruins’ pitching staff is led by former UE pitching coach A.J. Gaura, who is in his second season in Nashville.

This weekend will mark the first-ever Valley series between UE and Belmont.  The two teams first met in 2010, and have met every year outside of two (2011 and 2021) since.  The Bruins lead the all-time series, 15-4, and won a pair of mid-week games over Evansville last year by scores of 7-4 and 8-2.  Saturday’s opener will be just the seventh all-time meeting in Evansville, however, as 13 of the previous 19 meetings have taken place in Nashville.

Evansville will send senior LHP Tyler Denu to the mound in Saturday’s opener.  Denu is 2-0 with a 3.37 ERA and is coming off a career-best outing in which he struck out a career-high 10 men in a collegiate-best 7.0 innings of work in UE’s 7-3 victory at Missouri State last Saturday.