Raiders drop sixth straight in loss to Lipscomb


Riley Delgado connects on a hit during a game against Lipscomb on March 22, 2017 at Reese Smith Jr. Field. (MT Athletic Communications/Brent Beerends)

Photo by Brent Beerends / MT Athletic Communications

MTSU lost their sixth straight game by a score of 16-2 against the Lipscomb Bisons on Wednesday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

The Blue Raiders were only down by one heading into the fifth inning, courtesy of a great start by Grant Williams, but things snowballed in the fifth and sixth innings as the Bisons scored a combined 13 runs that put MTSU out of the running.

Riley Delgado and Ryan Kemp were the offensive bright spots for the Raiders as they each collected two hits.  Delgado’s night was highlighted by his fifth inning home run. He later roped a double into the power alley in the seventh.  Kemp scored on Delgado’s home run and had a sixth inning double to add to his credit.

Delgado hitting power surge

Short stop Riley Delgado making a play at second base during a game against Lipscomb on March 22, 2017 at Reese Smith Jr. Field. (MT Athletic Communications/Brent Beerends)

Delgado hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to knife into the Bison’s lead.

The round tripper was the second of Delgado’s career, and it came just a game after his first career homer that he hit while MTSU was down in Boca Raton, Florida against FAU.

Delgado has had an extra base hit in nine of his 29 (31%) at bats so far this season, and has provided the Blue Raiders with some good power out of the leadoff spot through the first twenty games this season.

Head Coach Jim McGuire was surprised with the recent pop he’s seen out of Delgado.

“I don’t know if he’s ever hit a home run before this week.  He’s swinging the bat pretty good right now.  The double he hit into the gap was a good approach and swing.  He’s a steady player and I know I can count on him.”

Grant Williams turns in best start of the year

Grant Williams got the start Wednesday night, March 22, 2017 against Lipscomb at Reese Smith Jr. Field. (MT Athletic Communications/Brent Beerends)

The Blue Raiders got a good start tonight from Grant Williams.  The former Hendersonville Commando turned in four innings tonight, giving up six hits, one earned run, and striking out a career-high five batters.

Although Williams gave up six hits, he was able to pitch very good situationally, and escaped a few jams.

In the second inning, Williams gave up two singles in a row to put runners on first and second, and was able to strike out Bison right fielder Allan Hooker to end the inning.

In the third inning, after giving up a one-out walk, Williams picked off the speedy Lee Solomon to get the inning’s second out.  Following two more Lipscomb singles, Williams struck out designated hitter Jake Perry to escape the inning.

Williams gave up his only run in the fourth, but was able to stop the bleeding with another huge strikeout that ended the inning and held the Bison lead to just one.

McGuire is pleased with the development of his freshman pitcher so far.

“I’m proud of him.  He threw four innings tonight and only gave up one run.  He wasn’t able to travel last weekend with his mother in the hospital, and for him to regroup from those tough times was big.  He doesn’t throw hard, but he can throw his curveball for a strike.  He needs to get a little more consistent, but I was happy with what he did tonight.”

Box Score

What’s Next?

The Blue Raiders will have a day off Thursday and will see the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this weekend at Reese Smith Jr. Field.  Friday’s game is set to start at 6 pm, Saturday’s at 4 pm, and Sunday’s at 1 pm.

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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