MURFREESBORO – A season-high five errors, and an ineffective start from Johnathan Frebis, were too much for Middle Tennessee to overcome Friday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field, as the Blue Raiders suffered their fourth-straight loss to Louisiana Tech.
Frebis (4-4) was able to go six innings in the game, but he walked three, hit one batter and threw a wild pitch. He surrendered five runs (two earned) on six hits, however, his defense did him no favors.
“Frebis didn’t have his good stuff, but he found a way to get his six innings,” said Head Coach Jim McGuire about Frebis’ performance. “The five errors, and how we handled that, was disappointing.”
The mistakes started early on for the Blue Raiders (17-16, 9-4 C-USA). After giving up a single to lead off the game, Frebis hit the next batter, Bryce Stark. He then threw a wild pitch that allowed both LA Tech (16-15, 3-9 C-USA) runners to advance to second and third. Both miscues cost the Blue Raiders after Taylor Nichols hit a two-run single to right center, giving the Bulldogs the early 2-0 lead.
After LA Tech added a run in the fourth, three MTSU miscues in the fifth led to two more runs for the Bulldogs. An error by Kevin Dupree allowed Chandler Hall to score. Two batters later, errors by Dupree and Brad Jarreau allowed Nichols to score, leaving LA Tech with a 5-0 lead.
A home run apiece in the sixth and seventh innings accounted for the only Blue Raider runs. Austin Bryant blasted a solo shot – his third of the season – to left in the sixth. Ronnie Jebavy blasted a two-run shot to left in the seventh to bring MTSU within three, 6-3.
However, LA Tech added a run in both the eighth and ninth to put the game away, winning 7-3. It marked the fourth-straight loss for MTSU.
“Over the last week, week-and-a-half, we haven’t played well,” said McGuire. “You’re going to have some ups and downs, and that’s a part of it.”
The Blue Raiders did the match the Bulldogs in hits, with eight, but they failed to get hits when they needed them. They left seven runners on base, including five left on base by catcher Michael Adkins, who is currently mired in an 0-for-18 slump.
Adkins came up to plate in both the second and fourth innings with the bases loaded, but he failed to produce a run on either occasion.
Jebavy was the only Blue Raider to have a multi-hit game, going to 2-for-4 with two RBI in the contest.
Hall led the way for LA Tech, racking up a game-high four hits. Nichols went 1-for-5 with two RBI.
Tyler Clancy (5-3) notched the win for the Bulldogs, throwing seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Adam Atkins picked up his fourth save of the year, pitching two perfect innings.
The Blue Raiders will continue their series with the Bulldogs on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. CST.
For more Blue Raiders sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.
To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.