Raiders lose roller coaster affair with Austin Peay

Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

The MTSU baseball team lost a roller coaster of a game Tuesday afternoon in Clarksville against the Austin Peay State University Governors 21-8.

The Raiders found themselves in a 9-1 hole heading into the fifth inning when they stormed back to make it a ballgame in the fifth and six. The Raiders scored seven runs in those two innings to narrow the gap to 9-8.

The Blue Raiders’ fortunes reversed in the seventh and eighth innings, surrendering 11 runs to APSU, and they weren’t able to mount another comeback.

Raiders rally in middle innings to make it a game

The Blue Raiders scored a combined seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings of the contest to cut the APSU lead down to just one run heading into the final innings of the game.

The Raiders came into the fifth facing an eight-run deficit when they loaded the bases for Drew Huff.

Huff grounded into a fielders choice that plated Blake Benefield and put runners at the corners for Austin Dennis.

During Dennis’ at bat, a wild pitch sent Huff to second and a bad throw from the catcher allowed Kevin Sullivan to score from third.  Dennis then singled and scored Huff from second and advanced to second himself on another error.

Aaron Aucker sent a pitch over the center field fence, bringing Dennis in to score.

In the sixth inning, Huff singled to center to score Sullivan.  Two batters later, Aucker singled to knock in Huff.

Aucker (2-for-4) and Huff (3-for-5) combined for six RBI’s on the day and led the charge for the Raiders as they were able to knife into the APSU lead.

Drew Huff has career day

MTSU third baseman Drew Huff was the biggest offensive bright spot for the Raiders on Wednesday.  The sophomore had a career day, going 3-for-5 with three RBI’s, finishing just a triple short of the cycle.

In his first plate appearance, Huff hit his first career home run over the right center field wall in the top of the first inning to give MT its only lead of the ballgame.

Huff came to the plate in the fifth inning and knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice to help the Raiders start their rally to make it a tight game in the middle innings.

The former Riverdale High School standout also collected the Blue Raiders final hit of the night in the eighth inning by sending a ball into the gap for a double.

Two huge innings by Governors doom Raiders

The Austin Peay Governors were able to come up with a lot of offense in exactly the the times that they needed it today.  The Governors scored six runs in the third inning and nine in the seventh to help put the Blue Raiders away.

The Govs began the third inning with a 3-1 lead on MTSU when the scoring began.  Senior 1st baseman Dre Gleason hit a three-run shot off of starter Devin Conn to increase the APSU lead to five.

The Governors added a run on a sacrifice fly to center field and two more runs off of wild pitches.

After the Raiders narrowed the gap to just two runs after the fifth and sixth innings, Austin Peay began to run away with things in the bottom of inning number seven.

Gleason capped off his 4-for-5 day by grabbing his seventh RBI on a single to right field.  The Governors finished the inning by hitting two doubles, two home runs, and scoring on a wild pitch.

Box Score

What’s Next?

The Raiders will now prepare for a three-game series this weekend at home against Kennesaw State.  The first pitch for Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Follow MTSU Baseball beat writers Anthony Fiorella (@A_Fiorella74), Ryan Nixon (@RNixon32), and Stephen Smith (@StEvo_Shield) on Twitter for more coverage.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact Sports Editor Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35), email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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