Photo by Meagan White // Staff Photographer
Middle Tennessee (15-19, 3-10 C-USA) moved its record to 5-0 this season in extra innings after a walk-off single from freshman Drew Huff plated the game-winning run in the 10th inning to give the Blue Raiders a 12-11 victory over Charlotte at Reese Smith Jr. Field Friday night.
The game was nothing short of an offensive showcase, but eventually saw the Charlotte 49ers (15-20, 5-8 C-USA) fall shy of the win.
MTSU senior pitcher Nate Hoffmann started the game well, but struggled as the game advanced.
“Nate Hoffmann did not have a very good day,” MTSU head coach Jim McGuire said. “He started out the first inning and was good. Then after that, he just didn’t have his stuff.”
Hoffmann finished the game by allowing seven hits and nine runs in a little over four innings. In the fifth inning, Hoffmann gave up a grand slam and was replaced by MTSU freshman Carson Lester.
Lester was eventually replaced by Sam Alton, who proved to be the best pitcher for the Blue Raiders Friday night. He allowed only one hit and no runs.
The offensive play from the Blue Raiders covered up a sub-par pitching night.
MTSU junior Riley Delgado continued his hot streak, racking up his 18th multi-hit game, including his fifth straight. He had three runs scored and tallied four hits in the contest.
Blue Raider junior center fielder Brad Jarreau recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season. Jarreau also had five RBI against the 49ers.
MTSU’s offense started out hot in the game, opening up the scoring in the first inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, Jarreau hit one deep to bring in Delgado. On the next at bat, freshman Blake Benefield got a double deep down the middle that brought in Jarreau.
The Blue Raiders were kept quiet for two innings, then exploded again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman designated hitter A.J. Spencer hit his first home run, a shot towards left field. Jarreau singled and brought in juniors Austin Sistrunk and Will Schnure.
Austin Dennis rounded out the fourth by stealing home to give the Blue Raiders a 7-3 lead. Dennis finished the game with four runs and three hits.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Blue Raiders were bombarded by a six-run inning from Charlotte.
“We just tried to stay with our approach and keep doing what we were doing the whole game,” Jarreau said. “We knew we had plenty of time to come back and make a run at it.”
MTSU went on to make a slight run to tie the game at 11 in the eighth inning, capped off by Huff’s game-winning single in the 10th inning to seal the victory.
The Blue Raiders will look to keep their hot hitting streak going throughout the weekend series. MTSU will continue the home series against Charlotte on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.
To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.