Featured photo by Ryan Loftis
Story by Conner Smith
Houston, TX- MTSU baseball cruised by the UTSA Roadrunners 5-1 in the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament behind Eriq Swan’s dominant performance on the mound.
MTSU came out swinging as JT Mabry sent a ball over the wall on just the second pitch of the game. That play proved to be the tone-setter for what was ahead for the Blue Raiders.
In the third inning, MTSU padded onto its lead when it loaded the bases and a Briggs Rutter sac fly along with a DJ Wright RBI groundout plated two more.
Through six innings the Blue Raiders had shut down a Roadrunners offense that averaged nearly eight runs per game. Swan was a big part of that as he threw six innings while only giving up one run and striking out nine.
“It feels amazing that I can go out there, and do my part for these guys, we put up a lot of runs and a lot of hits to put pressure on the other team. Like I said yesterday, I just want to do my part and help them out.” Swan said.
In the eighth, the Blue Raiders were able to widen their lead with a two-run home run off the bat of Wright to comfort the MT faithful.
Kota Sato did his job with an excellent two innings pitched but was relieved in the ninth for Jaden Hamm. Hamm set down the Roadrunners and secure the MTSU victory.
“Our guys did an outstanding job,” MTSU head coach Jerry Meyers said. “The older guys at the top of the lineup set the tone. The senior leadership didn’t try to do too much. We got the lead and kept the lead, and we tried to tack on, which we did. That was Swan’s best outing of the year. He got ahead in the count and sustained it through multiple innings. He had to reach back to close out a couple of innings, but he was able to execute.”
The Blue Raiders will play LA Tech on Thursday in the winner’s bracket, with first pitch slated for 12:30 p.m. at Reckling Park.
Conner Smith is a sports reporter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com. Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @mtsusidelines, or on Twitter @MTSUSidelines.