Blue Raiders Knockout UNO in 10

May 19, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Lafayette, La. - All season long, Middle Tennessee head coach Steve Peterson has relied on his seniors to step up in crucial situations with key plays in clutch situations.

And, thanks to another one of those plays, Middle Tennessee has a chance to add another Sun Belt Conference trophy to its collection. Kyle Thomas' ground ball to Steve Rowell led to a throwing error by the UNO second baseman that plated a pair of runners to snap a 10th-inning, 2-all tie and give the Blue Raiders a 4-2 extra-inning victory and a berth in the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament championship game.

"Our seniors have come through all year long and they did it again tonight," MT head coach Steve Peterson said. "We had hit some frozen ropes right at them and we just battled through it. I thought (UNO starter Rory) Shanks made some good pitches against our lefties. I thought it would come down to a mistake and they made the mistake."

The Privateers' third error of the night cost them dearly, as MT reliever Kevin Davis (4-0) worked out of a second and third, one-out jam with two strikeouts to preserve the game and give the Blue Raiders (41-14) a berth in the title game in their first season in the Sun Belt.

UNO (25-32) took a 2-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Jeff Miller after John Williams balked in the first UNO run in the opening frame.

The Blue Raiders, though, cut the lead in half in the fifth on an RBI sacrifice fly by SBC Player of the Year Josh Renick. The Blue Raiders would eventually tie the game on Thomas' 2-2, two-out single in the eighth inning off Jeff Stander (2-3).

Renick then started the game-winning rally with a single and a stolen base before moving to third on an infield single by Justin Sims. Sims swiped second and both runners came around on Thomas' fielder's choice.

Middle Tennessee will play the winner of Saturday's 10 a.m. game between South Alabama and Louisiana Tech at 4 p.m. at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.

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