Photo by Darius Horton / MTSU Sidelines
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the second time this week to take part in the Tri-Star Classic, an event that features schools from around the state. First up for the Raiders were the Memphis Tigers.
These two teams played each other last year in Memphis and the Raiders were victorious in both contests. This time around, the results were flipped as the Tigers walked away with a 6-4 victory.
Pitching finds consistency
Freshman right-hander Zach Keenan was on the mound for MTSU, making his first career start for the team. He was efficient in his effort, throwing 3.1 innings of two-run ball with three strikeouts. Play in the field hurt him however, as he allowed two unearned runs as well.
He was replaced by junior Tyler Holcombe, who had a strong appearance as well. He allowed only two hits and two runs in his 4.2 innings pitched.
Sophomore right-hander Andy Wright closed out the game for the Raiders by relieving Holcombe in the ninth inning. He would allow only one hit and no runs in his time on the mound.
All three of Middle Tennessee’s pitchers showed promise today and made their case to see more time in the rotation.
Offense struggles in loss
The Raiders had some bright spots on the offensive side of the game, although it was not enough to win the game.
Junior Austin Dennis scored first for the Raiders in the bottom of the third, following a fielder’s choice. Senior Ryan Kemp scored two of his teammates on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error from the Tigers. Redshirt senior Aaron Aucker hit a double on the next at-bat to give Middle Tennessee a 4-3 lead.
This was the only lead that the Raiders held and the only inning that they scored in, as they were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
The Raiders will play again on Saturday in game two of the Tri-Star Classic. This time, they will face the East Tennessee State Bucs. Junior right-hander Carson Lester will be on the mound for the 3 p.m. contest.
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