Blue Raiders drop first game of conference play

MTSU Kaleb King checks Bowling Green baserunner (Tyler Lamb/MTSU Sidelines)

Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders did not get a good start to their C-USA season, dropping the first game to Florida Atlantic by a final score of 7-6.

Middle Tennessee came out of the gates scoring four runs in the first two innings, but things started to fall apart for the Blue Raiders after that point, only getting three hits between the third and seventh innings.

On the other hand, FAU was able to steadily come back, taking a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning.

MTSU scored in the top of the eighth to tie the game 5-5, but FAU answered in the bottom half with two runs to go up 7-5.

The Blue Raiders didn’t go down without a fight in the ninth inning, but were only able to bring one run around while leaving three runners on base.

Blue Raiders fall victim to middle innings

The middle innings are usually Middle Tennessee’s best, but that was not the case in this game. In the innings 4-6, MTSU didn’t score a run and only got two hits.  The Blue Raiders’ struggles didn’t just come on offense in the middle innings, as the pitching staff gave up four runs.

The fifth inning saw the Blue Raiders give up two runs, one run on an RBI double and the other on an error by Blake Benefield.

FAU tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning off a two-run home run by freshman outfielder Eric Rivera.

Comeback falls short

The eighth inning saw the Blue Raiders finally get back on the scoreboard off of a Riley Delgado RBI single that Kaleb King scored on to tie the game at five.

It seemed like MTSU was heading in the right direction, but they gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, to go down 7-5 again.

The Blue Raiders put up a fight in the ninth inning, with Aaron Aucker hitting a lead-off triple to start the inning. Ryan Kemp was called on to pinch run, and scored two batters later on a Kaleb King RBI single.

The Blue Raiders had the bases loaded with two outs and Riley Delgado up to bat but weren’t able to take advantage of the situation, as Delgado hit a line drive right to the second baseman to end the game.

What’s next?

3/18 @Florida Atlantic- 3 p.m.

3/18 @Florida Atlantic- 11 a.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

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