NEW ORLEANS – Middle Tennessee (7-2) was riding a five-game winning streak coming into Sunday’s game, but first inning troubles doomed them, as they fell to New Orleans (5-7) in the series finale, 8-2.
The Blue Raiders still picked up the series victory, winning the first two games of the series before dropping Sunday’s contest. The team has won three-consecutive series to start the season.
MTSU got on the board first when outfielder Brad Jarreau scored on a fielding error. However, the lead was short-lived.
Starter Heath Slatton (1-2) continued his early-season struggles, surrendering five runs in the bottom of the first. Slatton worked only 1 1/3 innings on his way to picking up the loss. The junior pitcher currently has an earned run average of 15.75 on the season.
Despite outhitting the Privateers 13-12, the Blue Raiders were never able to mount a comeback.
The bullpen kept MTSU in the game throughout the middle innings. Pitchers Blake Stansberry and Garrett Ring threw a combined 4 2/3 innings, giving up no runs during their time on the mound.
The bullpen finally cracked in the seventh though, as Keaton Baker gave up three earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning. The Blue Raiders tacked on a run in the ninth off a Michael Adkins single that plated Dustin Delgado, but that was all they could manage as the Privateers picked up the 8-2 victory.
Every player in the starting lineup for MTSU recorded a hit in the game. Three Blue Raiders recorded multi-hit games.
Adkins went 3-for-5 on the day, recording the lone RBI for MTSU. Outfielders Jarreau and Ronnie Jebavy both had 2-for-4 days for the Blue Raiders.
Delgado extended both his reached-bases and hitting streak in his final at-bat. He knocked a single through the left side of the infield to extend his reached-bases streak to 24, and his hitting streak to eight games.
The Blue Raider bullpen was outstanding in the series. They pitched 17 innings of three-baseball in the three-game series.
Alex Smith (2-1) earned the win for UNO, despite allowing 10 hits.
Middle Tennessee’s next matchup will be at Tennessee on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST.
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