Photo by Darwin Moore / MTSU Sidelines
MTSU won in a low scoring 3-0 affair Friday night against Kennesaw State. In a fast game that lasted a little over two and a half hours, the Blue Raiders were able to record their first shutout of the season, thanks in part to great pitching performances by Jake Wyrick and Tyler Holcombe.
MTSU had nine hits as a team, and got their first run in the fifth inning when Riley Delgado singled to right field on a play that brought Devin Conn home. Their other two runs didn’t come until the eighth inning, the first coming off of an RBI single by Aaron Aucker that brought Austin Dennis home. Aucker reached home for the Raiders’ third run two batters later off a Kaleb King RBI single.
Starting pitchers duel
In a game where the first run didn’t come until the bottom of the fifth inning, both team’s starting pitchers shined in their performances.
Jake Wyrick tied his season-high in strikeouts with six, only allowing three hits and walking one batter.
Coming off of a poor team performance against Austin Peay on Tuesday, where they lost 21-8, Wyrick’s pitching helped the team regain some momentum.
“It’s always big whenever the pitchers do good,” Wyrick said. “It makes it that much easier for the hitters and the rest of the team really.”
Wyrick only faced one high stress situation in his 6 1/3 inning appearance, coming in the fifth inning when Kennesaw State loaded the bases with two outs.
Wyrick was able to get two consecutive strikeouts and leave three runners stranded in a situation that could have proved huge for Kennesaw State. Middle Tennessee scored just minutes later in the bottom of the fifth to go up by one off a Riley Delgado RBI single that brought Conn home.
— Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35) March 3, 2017
Wyrick was pulled from the game in the sixth with runners on first and third, a situation Holcombe was able to get out of with a sigh of relief.
Kennesaw State pitcher Tony Dibrel threw six strikeouts as well, but lost control in the fifth and sixth inning. He made it through these two innings only allowing one run. KSU’s defense didn’t help Dibrel out very much, with three errors through the six innings that Dibrel played.
Holcombe with a strong performance out of bullpen
Tyler Holcombe was called on in the sixth inning to relieve Wyrick, and it was lights out from there, allowing just one hit and striking out four in his 2 2/3 inning performance.
Holcombe’s performance allowed for the Blue Raiders to let the rest of their pitchers get some needed rest.
“As thin as we are due to injuries and off the field situations, it’s really important for us to only use two guys today,” Head coach Jim McGuire said.
— Ryan Nixon (@RNixon32) March 4, 2017
Saturday vs. Kennesaw State – 2 p.m.
Sunday vs. Kennesaw State – 1 p.m.