BOCA RATON, Fla. – Middle Tennessee (13-8, 5-1 C-USA) finished its weekend series Sunday in first place in the Conference USA standings, as it rallied back from an early four-run deficit against No. 19 Florida Atlantic, winning the series finale, 7-6.
The road series win marked the first series win against a ranked opponent this season for Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders also remain unbeaten in extra innings this season.
Senior Starter Nathan Foriest earned every bit of his second win of the year in a relief performance that kept MTSU in the ballgame. The Blue Raiders rallied in the ninth with a three-run inning that forced the game into extras.
Foriest put out the fire of the FAU (20-5, 4-2 C-USA) offense, allowing no runs and only four hits in five innings. To put things in perspective, Florida Atlantic hit just .222, and had just a .263 on-base percentage against Foriest.
By comparison, FAU hit a hot .400, and had a .444 on-base percentage against MTSU starter Garrett Ring.
Senior catcher Michael Adkins chipped in three hits and the go-ahead RBI in the 12th.
Junior center fielder Ronnie Jebavy reached base in all six plate appearance with a career-high three hits. Jebavy stole a league-high 13th base, but perhaps most importantly, Jebavy collected a RBI triple that brought the game within one run in the ninth inning.
Neither team scored a run in the 10th or 11th innings. Finally in the 12th, Adkins knocked an RBI single that scored Jebavy, providing the winning run for the Blue Raiders. Foriest shut the Owls down in the bottom of the inning, leading MTSU to the 7-6 victory, vaulting MTSU into first place in the C-USA standings.
MTSU outhit FAU 14-12. The Blue Raiders stranded nine runners, and the Owls stranded 10.
John Sebelle (1-1) suffered the loss for FAU in relief. He pitched three innings, giving up one hit and the go-ahead run in the 12th.
Middle Tennessee begins their five-game home stand Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CST, as they take on No. 4 Vanderbilt.
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