MT Wins ASU Series with 6-3 VictoryMay 5, 2002 · MT Media Relations
The win is the second straight for the Blue Raiders after dropping nine in a row. It gives the Blue Raiders a 2-1 advantage in the three-game set and a crucial head-to-head victory should the standings end in a tie.
The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind starter Steven Kines, who missed his last start due to a pulled rib cage muscle. Both Blue Raider runs came in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a Chris Leguenec single that brought Marshall Nisbett in to score and an RBI double from Brett Carroll that plated Leguenec.
The Indians would rally in the top of the third with a solo homer from Ryan Corrigan and finally took the lead in the top of the third with a two-run blast from George Sterner, chasing Kines from the game.
However, for the second straight game, the bullpen turned in a masterful performance. Chase Swing got the nod in relief and came on to work the final five innings of the game, allowing only one hit and no runs while ringing up five Ks.
Swing's effort kept the Blue Raiders in the game until the bottom of the sixth when the Middle Tennessee offense showed its first real signs of life in the series. The Blue Raiders got an RBI groundout from Nisbett to tie the score and leave a runner on base. Jason Howarth followed with his first homer of the season to give the Blue Raiders a 5-3 lead. On the very next pitch, Leguenec delivered his first career long ball to give his team a 6-3 lead.
Swing continued to make the lead hold up and went on to finish the game and earn the first win of his career to improve to 1-2. Starter Jody Petty took the loss for Arkansas State to fall to 6-5.
The Blue Raiders came into the game one game ahead of Arkansas-Little Rock for the final spot in the Sun Belt Tournament and the win ensures that the Blue Raiders will remain at least one game ahead when next weekend's head-to-head showdown starts on Friday night.
Middle Tennessee will once again take the midweek off due to exams, but will begin its final homestand of the year on Friday at 7 PM. The Blue Raiders will play three against UALR and a Tuesday night game against Vanderbilt the following week to complete the home schedule.
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