Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider baseball team lost both games of their double-header with Charlotte by scores of 7-4 and 12-5. At first glance, it may seem as though these games weren’t close, but the Blue Raiders had opportunities in each of these games for things to go the other way.
MTSU drops first game after taking early lead
The first game of the afternoon started off with a bang for MTSU. Senior Brad Jarreau got the first hit of the game, followed by a Ryan Kemp walk. MTSU pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third with only one out. This allowed Aaron Aucker to get two RBIs on a double down the left field line, giving Middle an early 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Austin Dennis was able to keep the offense going with a single to center that advanced Aucker to third. A Kaleb King sacrifice fly would bring in the Blue Raiders last run of the inning and make the score 3-0 in favor of the Blue Raiders.
This lead didn’t stay for very long however, as Charlotte crushed a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 3-2.
After the Blue Raiders went down in order, Charlotte scored three more runs in their half of the inning on a bases-loaded single and a wild pitch.
The Blue Raiders offense put up a fight in the top of the third inning, bringing in Kemp on a Dennis sac fly to make the score 5-4. With two outs, MTSU was able to load the bases, but a strikeout wrapped up the side before the Blue Raiders could bring in any more runs.
Offense seemed to disappear for both teams after the top of the third, with neither team scoring until the 49ers tacked two more runs on off of a RBI groundout and a RBI triple that made the score 7-4.
That 7-4 score went final after the Blue Raiders went down in order in the ninth inning, giving the 49ers the series win heading into game two of the double-header.
Blue Raiders can’t hold on to lead, lose big in final game
The Blue Raiders didn’t start out the second game of the day as well as they did the first one, not getting anyone on base in the top of the first.
This gave the 49ers a chance to strike first and they did, starting with four straight singles that led to three early runs.
Aucker opened up the Blue Raiders half of the second with a single to center field. Dennis laid down a bunt down towards third base for a single, but a throwing error allowed Aucker to advance to third. King put the Blue Raiders on the scoreboard with a sac fly to left field that allowed Aucker to score the only run of the inning.
The Blue Raiders were able to add some more offense in the third inning. Shortstop Riley Delgado singled up the middle followed by a Jarreau single to right field. Kemp hit an RBI groundout to third that brought Delgado across and advanced Jarreau to second. Dennis also notched an RBI on a single to right field that tied the game.
Neither MTSU nor Charlotte could get anything going offensively in the fourth, but the fifth inning was another story.
Jarreau started out the inning with a single, which was followed by a Kemp walk. Aucker flew out to center field, but this allowed Kemp and Jarreau to advance to second and third respectively. Dennis got his second RBI of the game with a fly out to right field that put the Blue Raiders up 4-3. King brought Kemp in on a single to center field for the last run of the inning.
Charlotte answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a run of their own following a walk and an RBI double to cut the deficit to 5-4 MTSU.
This lead held until the seventh inning, when Charlotte had an offensive explosion. They sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and scored eight runs.
The Blue Raiders weren’t able to respond on the scoreboard, and lost the game by a score of 12-5.
MTSU looks to right the ship on their recent four game losing streak when they travel to Cookeville to play Tennessee Tech at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Next weekend, the Blue Raiders will play host to #16 Southern Miss with game times as follows:
Friday 4/28-6 p.m.
Saturday 4/29- 4 p.m.
Sunday 4/30- 1 p.m.