Monday, September 25, 2023

Baseball: Blue Raiders dominated by Southern Mississippi in doubleheader


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Photo by Delaney Dickey / MTSU Sidelines 

It was a rough day for the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (20-20-1), as they were not only forced to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but they were handed easy losses in both games against Southern Mississippi. 

They were held to just two runs and were completely shut in the final game. When all was said and done, the Blue Raiders fell in game one 11-2 and game two 8-0.

Pitching struggles pave way in both losses

Junior right-hander Carson Lester got the start in the first game. He struggled in his short appearance, going for 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts before being relieved by freshman left-hander Peyton Wigginton. 

Wigginton didn’t fare much better in his appearance, as he pitched 2.1 innings of four-run ball on seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts. 

Junior Blake Stansberry and sophomore Scheldon Paulk finished out the game with both only allowing one hit apiece and no runs in a combined three innings. 

Junior Drew Huff got the start in the second game, and the story was much the same as the first. 

Huff threw for 2.2 innings and allowed six runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout before being relieved by freshman Zach Keenan. 

Keenan saw a short stint of just 1.1 innings that saw him give up two runs on one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. 

Juniors Conner Bell and Tyler Holcombe split the last four innings and allowed no more runs with Bell only giving up one hit. 

For the day the starters struggled, however the relievers found success. It was too little too late, however. 

Offense goes into hibernation for the day

The Raiders saw very little positivity from their offense on Saturday, as they were held to two runs in two games. 

They only managed to put up six hits in the first game of the day, and these were credited to only three players. 

Senior Ryan Kemp finished the day 3-4 with a run, while junior Blake Benefield finished 2-4.

Senior Aaron Aucker and Huff both recorded the RBIs for the Raiders. 

The second contest was worse for the Raiders as they only put up three hits as a team. They would be effectively shut out as well. 

What’s next?

The Blue Raiders will return home to Murfreesboro for a date with the Austin Peay Governors on Tuesday at 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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