Blue Raiders Fall in Classic Pitchers Duel

May 25, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Knoxville, Tenn. - In a classic pitcher's duel between Tennessee's Wyatt Allen and Middle Tennessee's Dewon Brazelton, the Blue Raiders dropped a heartbreaker to their in-state rivals, 2-1. Both pitcher's went the distance with Allen allowing only two hits and Brazelton scattering just four in front of 4,139 at Lindsay Nelson Stadium.

"This was a great college baseball game," head coach Steve Peterson said. "It ranks right on top as one of the best college games I have been a part of. Allen was masterful in his performance and Dewon had his usual stellar outing. It was a shame either one of them had to lose."

Tennessee (42-17) jumped ahead early when all-American Chris Burke led off the game with a triple that just hit the left field line chalk for a fair ball that rolled all the way to the corner. Burke scored when Stevie Daniel grounded to second base to give the Vols a 1-0 lead.

Both pitchers then tossed five consecutive scoreless innings before the Blue Raiders (41-16) tied the game in the top of the seventh. Freshman Chuck Akers reached base on an error by Burke, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Skillman. Jason Howarth followed with a strikeout, but reached first on a wild pitch as Akers moved to third. Phillip Campbell, who entered the game in the sixth following the injury to Josh Renick, lined a one-out single to left to bring in the Blue Raiders' only run.

The Vols answered right back in the bottom half of the inning. Dan Wilson walked, then pinch runner Ryan Moffett advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Case. Justin Parker struck out, but reached on a wild pitch allowing Moffett to advance to third. Burke bunted on an attempted squeeze and a throwing error by first baseman Kris Lammers allowed Moffett to score the games winning run.

The Blue Raiders' other hit besides Campbell's came when Brandon Johnson lined a single up the middle in the eighth inning.

Middle Tennessee now falls into the losers bracket on Saturday morning and will face ACC Champion Wake Forest. First pitch is scheduled for 10 AM CST.

-BRAZELTON, RENICK ALL-AMERICANS: Collegiate Baseball announced its 2001 TPX All-American team and two Blue Raiders made the field. Junior pitcher Dewon Brazelton was voted to the 18-man first team all-american squad, while second baseman Josh Renick earned third team honors. Brazelton and Renick joined Florida International's Willie Collazo as the only Sun Belt players to make one of the three all-american teams.

-RENICK UPDATE: Second baseman Josh Renick was hit by a pitch from Wyatt Allen in the sixth inning on his left forearm. X-Rays revealed a slight hairline fracture, but his availability on Saturday will be a game-time decision.

-ON THE MOUND: Junior Jason Moates is scheduled to take the hill on Saturday morning against Wake Forest. Moates is 6-1 with a 2.96 ERA.

-NCAA PLAY: This is Middle Tennessee's 10th NCAA appearance and its second in a row. The Blue Raiders carry an overall mark of 7-19 in NCAA play, including a 4-11 mark under Steve Peterson.

-LARGE CROWD: Tonight's announced crowd of 4,139 was the fifth largest in the history of Lindsay Nelson Stadium and the fourth largest in NCAA Regional play. The Blue Raiders have now played in front of 41,977 fans this season.

-MISCELLANEOUS: The Blue Raiders are now 6-6 this season in one-run games - Josh Renick enters play on Saturday with 94 hits on the season, which is tied for the single-season school record - Dewon Brazelton threw his 22nd career complete game, which is second all-time behind Dave Richardson's 23 - Phillip Campbell collected just his sixth hit of the season.

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