MTSU Takes Down No. 19 FAU in Extra Innings

MTSU Blue Raiders win 2-1 against the Western Illinois Leathernecks on Monday, Feb. 22, 2015. (MTSU Sidelines/Matt Masters)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Middle Tennessee (12-8, 4-1 C-USA) needed extra innings Saturday night, but it pulled off a big win against No. 19 Florida Atlantic 20-4, 4-1 C-USA) after scoring two runs in the top of the 11th to earn the 5-3 victory.

The win marked MTSU’s first road win against a ranked opponent in 10 years.

In the decisive 11th inning, senior infielder Austin Bryant led off with a double. He scored the go-ahead run after a safety-squeeze bunt by senior infielder Dustin Delgado. The Blue Raiders tacked on an additional run when junior outfielder Ronnie Jebavy knocked a two-out single to give MTSU the 5-3 winning margin.

Jebavy, Bryant, senior outfielder Jared Allen and senior catcher Michael Adkins all produced multi-hit efforts Saturday. Jebavy went 2-for-6 with two RBI. Bryant went 3-for-4, scoring a team-high two runs. Allen notched an RBI in a 2-for-6 effort. Adkins recorded a 2-for-5 night.

Junior starter Nate Hoffman pitched effectively for the Blue Raiders. throwing five and two-thirds innings of four-hit, two-run baseball. Hoffman had a 12 inning scoreless earned-run streak heading into Saturday, but FAU’s Brendon Sanger broke that up with a solo home run in the third.

Junior reliever Sam Alton (3-0) recorded his third win of the season. Alton came into the game in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out. He escaped the jam by getting the next two hitters out. He also managed to work around a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. On the night, Alton threw three and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball in his winning effort.

Senior closer Nathan Foriest picked up his fourth save of the season. He threw a perfect 11th inning to shut the Owls down, and give the Blue Raiders the win.

MTSU got on the board first in the game with a pair of runs in the third. The Blue Raiders scored one run in the fourth. FAU scored a run in the third, fourth and sixth innings each to lead to the 3-3 tie at the end of nine innings.

MTSU was effective under pressure Saturday night, belting 10 of its 11 hits with two outs. FAU notched 10 hits, while both teams committed three errors apiece.

Bo Logan (2-1) was saddled with the loss for FAU. Logan surrendered the winning runs in the 11th inning.

Middle Tennessee will go for the series victory Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST at FAU Baseball Stadium.

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To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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