MT Sweeps UALR With 8-7 Victory

May 12, 2002 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raider baseball team ensured itself a spot in the Sun Belt Tournament on Sunday afternoon with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Arkansas-Little Rock.

The 8-7 win gave the Blue Raiders (26-24; 8-13) a sweep of the series, a fifth consecutive victory, and probably sealed the Trojans' (17-34; 3-16) fate as the odd-team-out for the upcoming tournament.

The third game of the series followed the same script as the first two days.

The Blue Raiders were down 4-2 after three innings, but the team rallied to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Middle Tennessee plated two runs in the inning beginning with a leadoff triple from Chuck Akers. Nate Jaggers brought in the tying run with a base hit to left.

Jaggers was erased on a fielder's choice from Sims, but Josh Archer delivered a double into the right field gap that brought Sims around to score.

The Trojans got off the mat in the top of the sixth. With two outs, the Blue Raiders committed a defensive error that kept the inning alive and the Trojans responded with three straight hits that brought in three runs and gave UALR a 7-5 advantage.

The Blue Raiders looked as if they would get back into the game in the bottom of the sixth by loading the bases with only one out. However the team could not muster a run. The bottom of the seventh was nearly the same story as runners were at second and third with one out and the Blue Raiders failed to notch a run again.

However, the eighth inning was the breakthrough.

Back-to-back singles from Jaggers and Archer with two outs started the rally. Josh Archer then drove in the first run with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Kris Smith.

With runners at first and second, Jason Howarth grounded into what looked like a routine out at second base, but UALR could not make the play, allowing the tying run to score. In the confusion the speedy Smith never slowed down around second and slid in just ahead of the tag to give the Blue Raiders the lead.

Marshall Nisbett came on to close the game in the top of the ninth. With two outs and a runner aboard, Nisbett allowed a walk that put runners and first and second. A hard-0hit grounder got past defensive replacement Joe Capone at first base, but he recovered in time to cut down the tying run at the plate to end the game.

Reliever Chris Mobley picked up the win for the Blue Raiders to move to 5-4 on the year while Nisbett earned his third save.

The Blue Raiders' final home game of the season is slated for Tuesday night at 7 PM against Vanderbilt.

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