Friday, February 23, 2024

Baseball: Struggles for Blue Raiders continue against Austin Peay


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Photo courtesy of MT Athletics

The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (8-16, 3-3) traveled to Clarksville, Tennessee to take on the Austin Peay Governors (12-10) on Tuesday night where they fell in a lopsided loss, 10-3. The trend continued for the Blue Raiders where they started hot early but couldn’t manage anything offensively down the stretch.

MTSU batted first to begin the game and found success immediately. Lead-off batter JT Mabry was able to get on base with a single down the right side line. Aaron Antonini kept things going right after with a double into right center. He was able to record an RBI by way of Mabry scoring and giving the Blue Raiders an early 1-0 advantage.

The lead didn’t last long though. Austin Peay responded with a three run inning in the bottom of the first. MTSU forced errors on defense and was sloppy in its execution. The Governors capitalized on the Blue Raiders’ mistakes and jumped ahead 3-1.

MTSU matched Austin Peay to begin the second but that would be the last of its scoring. The Blue Raiders were able to get runners on base by way of a fielders choice and a walk. The Governors even walked in one of MTSU’s runners and gifted the Blue Raiders a run.

Drew Huff was able to put the ball in play with a sacrifice fly and Darrell Freeman Jr. tagged up on third and then sprinted to home and tied the game at three. That was the closest MTSU would come to the lead again however. It was all Austin Peay after the second inning.

The Governors matched their first inning total with three runs and doubled the lead in the bottom of the second, 6-3. They weren’t done there either. Everything was done in threes for Austin Peay as they tacked on three more in the sixth inning, and pushed the lead even further out of reach. They added one final run in the eighth to bring their total to 10 runs, while the Blue Raiders couldn’t add to their three runs after the first two innings.

Despite the scoreboard looking one-sided, the Blue Raiders matched the Governors in hits with nine. Nevertheless, it was errors that made the difference in this match up. MTSU had five errors to Austin Peay’s one. Mabry and Antonini led the Blue Raiders in hits with three and two respectively. However, their pitching woes will need to be fixed soon or MTSU’s struggles will continue.

What’s next?

The Blue Raiders will travel to West Virginia for a conference showdown with Marshall. MTSU will face off in a weekend series with the Herd with the first pitch of the series starting at 2 p.m. on Friday.

To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email

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