Friday, March 24, 2023

Baseball: Blue Raiders fall in 14-2 rout to Tennessee Tech


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Photo by Delaney Dickey / MTSU Sidelines

Fresh off their 9-0 win over Belmont, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (18-16) traveled to Cookeville on Wednesday to take on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (26-5). 

In a one-sided affair, Tennessee Tech easily handed the Raiders one of their worst losses of the year by a final score of 14-2. 

The Golden Eagles never trailed in the game, and made short work of the Raiders’ pitching staff and defense as well. 

Offense stifled in loss

The Raiders struggled at the plate, as they only put up two runs for the day. 

Junior Blake Benefield tripled in the top of the fourth inning and scored when freshman Jake Hagenow hit a single to get the Blue Raiders on the board. 

Both players failed to record another hit however, as Hagenow scored the only other run on a wild pitch.

Freshman Myles Christian was the only Raider with multiple hits in the game with two singles. 

Junior Austin Dennis and senior Aaron Aucker came into the game both riding hitting streaks of 15 and 11 games, respectively, but both came to an end in the loss.

Pitching struggles in the early game, unable to overcome deficit

Junior right-hander Carter Bair got the nod to start and struggled in his two innings of work, giving up seven runs on seven hits and two strikeouts.

Sophomore right-hander Grant Williams relieved Bair in the bottom of the third, and failed to make it out of the inning as he gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and no walks before being relieved by junior right-hander Blake Stansberry. 

With Stansberry in the game, the Raiders pitching finally seemed to settle in and work more efficiently. Stansberry went for 2.3 innings and only gave up two runs on four hits and one walk. 

In all, five pitchers saw action in the game and combined to allow five home runs for the Golden Eagles. 

What’s next?

The Raiders will look to shake off Wednesday’s loss and focus their efforts on the weekend series against conference foe Rice. The last time these teams faced each other, the Owls took the series 2-1. 

It will be a home series for the Raiders, with Friday’s game scheduled for 6 p.m.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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