Middle Tennessee pitching staff struggles against Miami (OH)

Photo by Meagan White // Staff Photographer 

Ross Haffey lifted a bomb over the right-center field wall in the top of the sixth inning, giving him his second grand slam in as many days and Miami (OH) the 8-0 lead.

Middle Tennessee (4-3) lacked timely offensive production against Miami (OH) (3-3) in the final game of the Mule Mix Classic on Sunday afternoon, losing 13-5

“They got the big hit with the bases loaded and we didn’t. The difference in the game [was] the grand slam,” head coach Jim McGuire said.

Reid Clements started on the mound for the Blue Raiders, pitching five-plus innings and allowing seven hits, five walks, and four runs (three earned).

Clements had kept Miami (OH) at bay through five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. Clements came on for the top of the sixth inning, but the RedHawks quickly chased him.

Clements gave up his fifth walk, and Chad Sedio made him pay by jacking a two-run shot over the right-center field wall, ending Clements’ day and beginning a six-run sixth inning for the RedHawks.

“I got a little greedy and wanted to leave Reid [Clements] in there because he had started to throw pretty well right there at the end after struggling at the beginning. I thought his two best innings were probably the fourth and the fifth, so we thought we could get him back out there [in the sixth],” McGuire said.

Miami (OH) destroyed the Middle Tennessee pitching staff, racking up 16 hits, seven walks, four doubles and two home runs.

Riley Delgado was the lone bright spot for the Blue Raiders offense, going 2-for-2 with a single, double and two walks. Delgado leads the Blue Raiders with a .455 batting average and a .647 on-base percentage.

“What an outstanding weekend. I didn’t realize [Delgado] has reached base 13 times in a row, which is almost unheard of. I think he made an out his first or second at-bat [of the season]… He was our big bright spot over the weekend,” McGuire said.

Middle Tennessee struggled to support the pitching staff offensively, recording just six hits and leaving 10 runners on-base. The Blue Raiders walked six times and got plunked twice, but, once again, could not string together hits with runners on-base.

“We’ve got to get some things figured out offensively, that’s for sure. We did not swing the bat very well all weekend. I know I’m playing a lot of different guys, so we’re trying to get it narrowed down [to see] who we’re going to go with.

“We had a little bit of momentum going later in the game against some of their relievers, but the key was [that] yesterday we got their starter out of the game and today we couldn’t get their starter out,” McGuire said.

After beating Lipscomb (5-2) 9-6 last week, Middle Tennessee heads to Nashville for a rematch with the Bison on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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