Blue Raiders bullpen falters against University of Tennessee

Photo by Meagan White // Sidelines Archive

Middle Tennessee (16-21, 4-11 C-USA) hosted in-state rival University of Tennessee (21-16, 4-11 SEC) on Tuesday.

MTSU fell to UT 4-2 after allowing two runs in the ninth inning. The Blue Raiders were looking to avenge their 9-2 loss to the Volunteers last month.

Freshman A.J. Spencer, the starting pitcher for MT, pitched three innings and gave up one earned run, but  was replaced by Sam Alton, who had a short, solid outing. Alton pitched 1.2 innings, only giving up one hit and no runs.

“I thought [the pitching] was really good. I was really happy about the way we pitched,” MTSU Coach Jim McGuire said. “Overall we did plenty on the mound to get a win, we just didn’t hit enough tonight.”

The Blue Raiders struggled to produce offense against the Volunteers. As a team, Middle Tennessee had just seven hits, leaving five men on-base.

Junior Brad Jarreau continued his hot hitting streak, collecting two hits, including a double down the left field line and an RBI.

“We just got out of our approach … We started trying to pull the ball too much, not hitting the ball the other way, not able to move runners, not being real selective at the plate,” McGuire said. “We just got kind of out of whack. We got to get that back on tomorrow.”

Middle Tennessee will finish their five-game home stand against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (20-14) on Wednesday.

“Consistency on the mound as we change pitchers [is key,]” McGuire said about Wednesday’s match-up. “But the biggest thing tomorrow is we have to play defense, and we’ve got to get our approach back at the plate.”

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To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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