MT and ASU Split Twin Bill

May 4, 2002 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raider baseball team finally ended its losing streak after dropping nine straight contests with a 6-4 win over Arkansas State in the second game of a double header at Reese Smith Field on Saturday afternoon.

However, the Blue Raiders suffered a loss in game one to extend the streak to nine games 4-2. At the end of the day, the Blue Raiders stood at 22-24 overall and 4-13 in the Sun Belt while Arkansas State's record is 20-26, 8-11 in the league.

Game one saw the Indians jump on top 1-0 in the top of the third inning behind an Andy Runyan single that plated Adam Roberson, who led off the inning with a double to left center.

The Blue Raiders roared into the lead in the bottom of the third behind an RBI double from Justin Sims and a run-producing single from Doug Kunicki.

The Blue Raiders held the lead until the top of the sixth when Arkansas State knotted the score at two runs each. Dusty Sexton led off the frame with a double and then advanced to third on a groundout from Brad Hayes. Another groundout from George Sterner produced the run.

The score wouldn't stay tied long. The Indians got a huge two-run homer from Blake Denischuk in the top of the seventh that would prove to be the difference.

Starter Adam Larson took the loss for Middle Tennessee to fall to 3-6 while ASU starter John Anderson got the win to improve to 3-4. Brad Thomas pitched the final inning for the Indians to earn the save.

Game two was a different story from the outset. The Blue Raiders found themselves behind 2-1 after the first inning, but everything changed from that point.

The Blue Raiders scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 4-2 advantage. Middle Tennessee got RBIs from Brett Carroll, Chuck Akers, and Sims in the frame.

The Indians would cut the lead to 4-3 with a run in the top of the third, but the Blue Raiders returned the favor with another Carroll RBI that drove in Chris Leguenec to return the Blue Raiders to a two-run lead.

The Blue Raiders got an RBI on a sacrifice fly from Kunicki to tack another run on the board to lead 6-3.

The Indians mounted a big rally in the top of the sixth. A single from Sexton and a walk from Sterner chased reliever Jeremy Armstrong from the game after 2-1/3 strong innings. Danny Borne came in to retire one hitter and then yielded to Kyle Sparkman.

Sparkman battled in the inning, but got a huge double play ball that ended the inning with only one run scoring.

The senior reliever would go on to work two innings in the game, earning his first save of the season and preserving the Blue Raiders' first conference victory since knocking off New Mexico State on April 6.

Armstrong picked up the win out of the bullpen to push his record to 2-2 while starter Jon Dove took the loss to fall to 2-5.

The rubber game of the series is set for 1 PM on Sunday afternoon at Reese Smith Field.

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