COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - One of Tennessee Tech's longest running and fiercest rivals on the baseball diamond, the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders will visit Cookeville Tuesday for a 3 p.m. contest against coach Matt Bragga's Golden Eagles. Admission is free.
The Golden Eagles claimed two-of-three games from Niagara over the weekend, and will bring a 4-3 overall record into the game, which opens a big week of action for Tech in Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.
Following Tuesday's game, the Golden Eagles will host Bowling Green State from the Mid-America conference Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
SCOUTING THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS FOR
||Auburn, Ala.||Indiana State||
The Blue Raiders rolled to three victories over the weekend at the Auburn Tournament, including a 2-1 victory over the host Tigers, one of two one-run victories. MTSU followed that with an 8-1 win over Indiana State and a 4-3 win over College of Charleston. The wins improved MTSU to 5-2.
This year's Blue Raider squad is led by senior Ryan Ford with a .393 batting average, with four doubles among his 11 hits. Freshman Trevor Haggard and senior Michael Adkins are hitting .357, each counting two doubles among their five hits. Senior Johnny Thomas is hitting .333 with a team-high seven RBI and one of the team's three home runs.
Sophomore Keaton Baker (0-0) is slated to pitch for MTSU, making his first start of the season. He has pitched one inning this year in relief and has one strikeout. Last year, Baker had one start and 16 appearances and struck out 24 in 24 innings of work. As a true freshman in 2011, he was off to a solid sart before a season-ending injury. He had four appearances, all in relief, including three scoreless innings against Tech with three strikeouts to earn his first career save.
CATCHING UP WITH TECH
Junior designated hitter Brandon Thomasson was named Monday as the OVC Player of the Week after hitting three home runs and driving in eight runs with a .437 average last week. For the year, he's hitting .333 with four home runs and 10 RBI, and is one of five Golden Eagle regulars hitting above .300.
Senior left fielder James Abraham leads Tech with a .462 average as well as a team-high three stolen bases. Junior second baseman Zach Zarzour is second on the squad with a .370 aveage in the leadoff spot. Also above the .300 mark are sophomore shortstop Dylan Bosheers and senior center fielder Austin Wulf, both posting .333 marks.
Who will pitch for Tech is still a question mark, after seven different pitchers took the hill Sunday in an 11-inning win over Niagara.
THE SERIES vs. MTSU
MTSU leads the all-time series with Tech, 107-63-1, including
two wins a year ago. Tech droped a tough, 3-1 contest in
Murfreesboro early in the year, then let one get away in extra
innings in Cookeville late in the year, 10-7.
In the first meeting, Garrett Baugh pitched six strong innings and held MTSU to one run, but the Golden Eagles couldn't muster any offense. Four Blue Raider pitchers held Tech to just four hits in the 3-1 loss. David Hess was charged with the loss. Austin Wulf had two of Tech's four hits, including a triple.
In the rematch in Cookeville, Tech had more hits than MTSU and held a 6-3 lead after seven innings before the Blue Raiders scored two in the eight and one in the ninth to take it to exta innings. MTSU then plated four in the top if the 10th. Tech used six pitchers in the game and Middle Tennessee sent eight different players to the mound. Zane Morton was charged with the loss for Tech. The Golden Eagles had 14 hits as Wulf went 3-for-4, giving him five hits in six trips against Blue Raider pitchers. Zack Stephens homered for Tech, while MTSU had a pair of home runs among their 13 hits.