Photo by Darius Horton / MTSU Sidelines Archive
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders traveled to Ruston, Louisiana, over the weekend to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a Conference USA series.
In a tightly contested match-up, the Blue Raiders walked away with the series win by a 2-1 margin. The Blue Raiders won the first game 6-4, lost the second 15-12 and claimed the series in game three with a 7-6 win.
Overall, the Blue Raiders showed their ability to overcome adversity and played well on all sides of the ball to gain the win over the Bulldogs.
Pitching bookends the series, struggles in game two
Senior left-hander Jake Wyrick overcame his shaky start from last weekend and pulled together a solid 5.2 innings of work that saw him fan six batters and allow four hits with three runs before being relieved.
His efforts helped the Blue Raiders to maintain the lead after his relievers came in and put the game away.
Game two was the only black mark on the Blue Raiders’ solid weekend as all their pitchers struggled to get anything going on the mound.
Sophomore right-hander Grant Williams got the nod to start game two and struggled in his appearance before ultimately being pulled in the second inning.
In 1.1 innings he allowed four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk before he was relieved.
In total, the Blue Raiders had five pitchers on the mound in game two, with sophomore right-hander Scheldon Paulk being the one highlight by going 2.2 innings and only allowed one unearned run and one hit.
Game three saw the bullpen bounce back and help win the game.
Freshman Zach Keenan was tagged for the start, went four innings and allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts before being relieved.
In total, five pitchers saw action on the mound, with sophomore Drew Huff picking up the win and senior Austin Dennis earning a save for his efforts, his third of the year.
Batters see contributions down the line-up
The Blue Raiders had solid batting all weekend, which allowed them to remain in the game during crunch times.
In game one of the series, senior Aaron Aucker hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season. He finished game one by going 2-4 with three RBIs.
Junior Darien Prewett was perfect in game one and was 3-3 at the plate with a run.
In game two, the Blue Raiders managed to put up 12 runs. However, they could not seem to keep the Bulldogs from scoring.
Aucker homered yet again, his 11th on the year. He finished 3-5 with three RBIs.
Junior Blake Benefield hit two home runs on the day and finished by putting up four runs in total.
In game three, the Blue Raiders used a seventh-inning run to take the lead and held onto a 7-6 victory. Benefield also hit his third homer of the weekend, his 10th of the year. The Blue Raiders walked away with a convincing weekend series victory against a very tough LA Tech team.
The Raiders will look to keep the momentum going and are set to face Florida Atlantic University at home. This will be the Blue Raiders’ last home series of the season.
Game one is set to start on Friday at 6 p.m.
To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email email@example.com.