Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
The Blue Raiders (6-6) got their record back to .500 tonight with a win over the Memphis Tigers (7-4)by a score of 6-5 tonight at FedEx Park in Memphis.
The Raiders jumped out to an early 6-1 lead in the first three innings, but the Tigers clawed their way back throughout the middle and late innings, only to fall one run short in the ninth.
Head coach Jim McGuire was out tonight with an illness, giving assistant coach Tim Donnelly his first victory at the helm in an MTSU uniform.
The Raiders got a huge performance from starter Grant Williams and left-handed reliever Tanner McDivitt to give the Blue Raider offense enough breathing room to grind out the win.
Raiders have another big game at the dish
MTSU carried their offensive tear they have been on this year into another series as they got to the Tiger pitching staff for six runs tonight.
The Raiders were led offensively by Drew Huff, who went 2-4 today, doubling twice and collecting two RBIs on a bases-clearing knock in the third that score Aaron Aucker and Austin Dennis. Huff later came in to score from third on a balk to give the Raiders their third run of the inning.
The Raiders other notable performances at the plate were Riley Delgado’s two-hit, one-RBI game and Austin Dennis collecting his fifth RBI in the last two games.
Pitching staff comes through in bind for Raiders
The Blue Raiders got a much-needed quality game out of their pitching staff tonight. The staff gave up a combined four earned runs today, taking a lot of pressure off of the Blue Raider offense.
Grant Williams impressed for Middle Tennessee in his first start of the season tonight, giving MT a solid 4.1 innings, giving up only three hits and two earned runs while also striking out three batters.
Williams, who was not scheduled to start this ballgame, is the second Raiders pitcher in a row that has been called upon to make a spot start.
Tanner McDivitt followed up Williams solid effort with a great game out of the ‘pen.
In his second appearance of the season, McDivitt delivered three innings of two-hit ball and gave up only one earned run.
The left-hander also struck out a season-high three batters tonight.
Austin Dennis, who played the first 7.1 innings in centerfield, came on in relief of Blake Stansberry in the eighth inning. Dennis got two huge strikeouts to end the inning after loading the bases and putting the go-ahead run on first base.
In the ninth, Dennis gave up a home run but was able to hold off a Tiger rally to earn his first save of the season in his first pitching appearance of the season.
— Anthony Fiorella (@A_Fiorella74) March 8, 2017
The Raiders will finish their two game series in Memphis tomorrow at Fed Ex Park at 4 p.m. before traveling to Indiana this weekend to take on the Big 10’s Indiana Hoosiers in a three-game weekend series. Friday’s game is set for a 5:05 p.m start.