By Austin Nelson//Contributing Writer
MEMPHIS – Middle Tennessee (8-5) could not get its bats going Tuesday night, losing 3-1 to Memphis at FedEx Park, recording a season-low five hits.
A throwing error by starter Heath Slatton in the third inning led to all three runs for Memphis. MTSU was limited to just one run for the third time in the last four games.
Senior Jared Allen led off the second inning with a solo home run, providing the only run for the Blue Raiders on the night, giving MTSU the 1-0 lead.
A pair of miscues by Slatton in the bottom of the third allowed the Tigers to score three runs. Slatton made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Overbey that allowed Darien Tubbs and Zach Schritenthal to score.
Later in the inning, Slatton threw a wild pitch that allowed Overbey to score. This gave Memphis the decisive 3-1 lead, and they won by the same score.
Allen was the only Blue Raider to to have a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a homer and an RBI.
Outfielders Brad Jarreau and Ronnie Jebavy recorded one hit apiece, both going 1-for-4 on the night. Catcher Michael Adkins was the only other player in the lineup to record a hit, going 1-for-3.
Infielder Dustin Delgado kept his reached-bases streak going, drawing a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, extending his streak to 28 games.
Junior right-hander Slatton (1-3) was handed the loss in his fourth start, but he pitched well. He struck out a career-high five batters and surrendered just four hits. He also tied his season-high for innings pitched, going five innings.
Connor Alexander (2-0) earned the victory for the Tigers (5-4). Alexander pitched five innings of two-hit shutout baseball, striking out four in his appearance. Alexander entered the game after starter Caleb Wallingford was pulled after giving up a run in two innings.
Both bullpens were stout. Neither team’s bullpen allowed a run. Reliever Blake Stansberry continued his outstanding work Tuesday. He pitched three innings of one-hit baseball. He has not allowed a run four-consecutive appearances over eight and two-thirds innings.
Middle Tennessee and Memphis will meet again Wednesday afternoon in game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST at FedEx Park.
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