By Jim Bratton//Contributing Writer
MURFREESBORO – Middle Tennessee (13-10) was looking to rebound on Wednesday against Lipscomb (15-7) from a a disappointing loss to defending national champion Vanderbilt the night before.
The game started off pretty well for the Blue Raiders, as junior right-handed pitcher Heath Slatton was able to record two strikeouts in the top of the first inning. The Blue Raider offense was able to start generating a little momentum in the bottom half of the first with two singles from sophomore right fielder Brad Jarreau and senior designated hitter Michael Adkins.
The second inning started out with a single from Lipscomb’s Hunter Hanks, which eventually led to three runs scored in the second inning by the Bison, giving them a 3-0 advantage.
Lipscomb began to break the game open in the top of the fourth. Slatton was replaced by freshman right-hander Blake Stansberry after Slatton plunked three batters and allowed three runs in the inning. The Bison now had a commanding 6-0 lead.
The Bison tacked on a run in both the sixth and seventh innings to extend their lead, 8-0.
The Blue Raiders finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth, as junior center fielder Ronnie Jebavy brought in sophomore catcher Will Schnure with an RBI single. It was all they could manage though, leading to an 8-1 defeat at the hands of Lipscomb.
MTSU was outhit in the game 13-6. Jebavy was the only Blue Raider with a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and an RBI.
Lipscomb had four players with multi-hit games. Michael Gigliotti and Jonathan Allison led the Bison with two RBI each.
Slatton (1-5) continued his struggles on the mound this season. He was charged with the loss, surrendering six runs (three earned) on five hits in three and two-thirds innings. His earned run average is now a robust 8.61.
Brady Puckett (1-0), a former Riverdale High School standout, earned his first career win for Lipscomb. Puckett allowed one run on six hits in a complete-game effort Wednesday.
Middle Tennessee will return to conference play this weekend, as it hosts Old Dominion. The three-game series will start Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CST.
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