Monday, June 5, 2023

MTSU baseball takes first two games of final home series

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Featured photo by Ryan Loftis

Story by Conner Smith

Murfreesboro, TN- Middle Tennessee State baseball swept the Saturday doubleheader against UAB 3-2 and 8-7 at Reese Smith Jr. Field in the final home series of the season.   

Game 1 

The Blazers jumped out to an early lead with a solo home run on just the third pitch of the ballgame to take the early 1-0 lead against Jaden Hamm and the Blue Raiders.  

JT Mabry was one of the many veterans leading the way on the senior weekend. He collected a double in the first then later scored on a Jeremiah Boyd single. MTSU later took the lead on a Blazer fielding error that plated Boyd. 

UAB tied it up in the sixth on a lead-off triple and a groundout. In the seventh, Gabe Jennings scored from second when a throwing error by the first baseman sent the ball into right field and allowed Jennings to stroll home. 

James Sells was called upon to shut down the Blazers’ offense and did just that. Sells threw three scoreless innings to propel MTSU to a 3-2 win in game one of the doubleheader. 

Game 2 

In the third inning, Jennings launched a long ball off the left field wall to collect the first hit between both teams and give the Blue Raiders the lead. 

UAB came ready to play in the sixth when it hit a two-run home run off the right field foul pole to put itself ahead 2-1. The Blue Raiders were able to get two runners on with one out in the sixth but could not convert. 

The Blazers tacked on another two in the seventh to widen their lead to a trio of runs heading into the eighth. Entering the bottom of the eighth it was all UAB as it led 6-1, but that didn’t last long.  

MTSU erupted for a six-run eighth inning including a go-ahead single by Briggs Rutter to take a 7-6 lead entering the ninth. UAB did plate a run in the ninth to tie it, but the Blue Raiders had a chance to walk it off. 

Heading into the 10th inning it was still tied at seven all, that was until Mabry came to the plate. In the first pitch of the at-bat, the second baseman sent a ball over the left field wall to send the MT faithful home happy with an 8-7 win. 

“Coming off a week where he had a couple of rainouts, it seemed like we didn’t really have our rhythm at the plate early on,” MTSU head coach Jerry Meyers said. “In terms of two close games, they’ve had a lot of one-run losses against some of the top teams in the league, so (UAB) has been super competitive. I knew we were going to have to do everything we were capable of to have a shot to put ourselves in position in any game this weekend and we were able to do it twice today.”  

Conner Smith is a sports reporter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at cws4t@mtmail.mtsu.edu.  

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