Photo by Darius Horton / MTSU Sidelines
The Raiders traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Tuesday to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. In their first real test of the season, the Raiders were systematically shut out by the Tides’ pitching rotation by a score of 4-0.
Pitching staff falters early, holds serve for remainder of game
Both teams heavily rotated their pitchers as they attempted to gain the upper hand over the other.
The Crimson Tide’s coaching staff changed their pitchers at a prodigious rate with seven total changes as the game progressed. It seemed to be an effective strategy as the Raiders’ batters never seemed to be able to catch the rhythm. They looked unsettled most of the game because they had to adjust to a different pitcher seemingly at every inning.
MTSU faced their own pitching woes as starter Carson Lester gave up three runs in the second inning to give the Tide the 3-0 lead.
He was soon replaced by freshman Zack Keenan, who had a strong outing and prevented the Tide from scoring. Sophomore Andy Wright and junior Austin Dennis also saw action on the mound, with Dennis giving up the final earned run to make the score 4-0.
While this was a better performance than any last season, they will need to continue improving if they want to have a good season.
Offense struggles after great weekend
After a strong offensive showing in their previous games, the Raiders seemed to be primed to have another outing. This was not the case, however, as they were never able to get any offense going.
A few things can be taken away from this game. The constant pitching rotation by the Crimson Tide shows that they knew how potent the Blue Raiders’ offense really can be.
The Middle Tennessee rotation is showing signs of improvement over last year’s squad, and the younger players are contributing early for this team.
The Raiders will be back at home this Friday when they take on the Farleigh Dickinson Knights in the yearly Mule Mix Classic at 3 p.m.