Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
Middle Tennessee was able to snatch a victory Tuesday night, snapping a four game skid.
The Blue Raiders defeated the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (30-13, 16-2) in Cookeville by a score of 18-7 to improve to 20-21 on the year. With the victory over their former Ohio Valley Conference foe, MTSU improved their record in the all-time series to 85-34-1. The Tech loss snapped their eleven game winning streak at home.
MTSU’s bats were hard at work, as the team collected fourteen hits. Eight of those hits were extra base hits, and of those extra base hits, three were home runs.
The first home run came by way of Brad Jarreau. Jarreau’s fourth inning home run was his fifth of the year, which is third on the team.
Middle Tennessee’s next three home runs came in the final three innings.
In the seventh inning, left fielder Manuel Lopez hit his second home run of the year to make the MTSU lead 13-7.
In the eighth, Austin Dennis hit his sixth homer of the season. Dennis’ bomb provided him with three of his four RBI on the night, and gave the Blue Raiders a 16-7 advantage late in the ballgame.
Aaron Aucker hit MTSU’s final home of the night in the ninth inning to give them an 18-7 lead. Aucker continues to lead the team in batting average, home runs, runs scored, and on base percentage.
Eight is great
MTSU’s eight runs scored in the middle innings were instrumental on the way to their win.
The Raiders got things started with four runs in the fourth inning. Lopez got things going with a one out RBI double to right center field that brought Kaleb King across home plate. Later in the inning, Jarreau hit a three run home run that gave MTSU a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth inning, MTSU tacked on another run off of a King sacrifice fly to push their lead out to 8-4. Tennessee Tech would score twice in the bottom of the fifth to pull to within two at 8-6.
Middle Tennessee would respond with three runs in the sixth to open their lead back up to 11-6. Second baseman Ryan Kemp continued his productive season at the dish, by driving a two run double down the third base line. The two RBI brought Kemp’s season total to 15. Designated Hitter Aucker singled to left field to bring Kemp in to score MTSU’s third and final run of the frame.
3-4-5 hitter’s clip Golden Eagles’ wing’s
MTSU’s 3-4-5 hitter’s combined to go 5-15 tonight with 11 RBI and two home runs.
Kemp continued to be an offensive spark-plug, reaching base three times, driving in two runs and coming across to score three times himself. Kemp has scored a total of 31 times this year, which is tied with Aucker with the team lead.
Aucker has been extremely productive this year as the cleanup man in the Raider line-up. Aucker went 3-5 tonight with five RBI. His ninth inning home run pushes his team leading home run total to eight. Aucker’s season average is sitting above the .400 mark at .412, and he is second on the team in RBI’s behind Austin Dennis with 33. He also boasts a team-high .549 on base percentage.
The right fielder Dennis hit a home run tonight to go along with four RBI. Dennis, the team leader in RBI, now sits at 41 on the year. Dennis’ sixth home run he hit tonight puts him two behind Aucker for the team lead.
MTSU gets back into the win column tonight, scoring 18 runs off of 14 hits, to beat the TTU Golden Eagles 18-7 tonight in Cookeville. pic.twitter.com/HOyqhUkOii
— Anthony Fiorella (@A_Fiorella74) April 26, 2017
The Raiders will have a tough test this weekend, as they welcome conference foe #25 Southern Mississippi to town. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6 pm , Saturday’s for 4 pm, and Sunday’s at 6 pm. If Friday’s game is postponed due to the possible inclement weather that is in the forecast, the teams should play a doubleheader Saturday.