Knox Leads Blue Raiders to Big WinMarch 18, 2003 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders had season-highs in runs and hits in the contest, pounding out 18 hits in the win.
The homestanding Bruins got on the board early with a run in the bottom of the first, as Ryan Pettit had a one-out single and went to second when a pickoff throw to first from Knox was wild. Dan Soukup then singled up the middle with two outs to plate Pettit for a 1-0 BU advantage.
Knox helped himself in the third. Brett Carroll lined a leadoff single just inside the leftfield line before Knox belted a towering blast over the rightfield wall that nearly went out of the stadium, giving the Blue Raiders a 3-1 edge.
Harp singled again to start the fourth and Akers moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Pettit made a nice play on what was more a bunt-for-a-hit attempt by Akers, as Pettit hurdled Belmont starter Justin Jordan before making the throw to first base for the out.
Cooper followed with a single to move Harp to third and chase Jordan from the contest. Clif Thomas then plated Harp with a groundout to second for a 4-1 Middle Tennessee advantage.
A Knox walk, Archer single and bunt single by Shane Kemp loaded the bases for the Blue Raiders in the fifth. Beachum popped out but Knox scored on a passed ball. An Akers ground ball scored Archer before Cooper's third single of the day plated Kemp for a 7-1 advantage.
Carroll singled in two more runs and Knox, who led off the frame with a walk, singled in the final run of the inning for a 10-1 lead.
The Bruins got a pair of doubles to score two runs in the sixth, but the Blue Raiders got one of the runs back with a solo home run from Cooper in the seventh, making it an 11-3 Middle Tennessee lead.
Kemp beat out an infield single in the eighth and Beachum followed with an RBI double into leftcenter. Kevin Suba blooped a double into short right in the ninth, scoring Chase Eakes for Middle Tennessee's final run.
Knox (1-0) allowed one run on five hits and struck out five in five innings of work to get the win in his first career start as a Blue Raider. Chris Mobley gave up two runs in two innings and Steven Kines got the final six outs for Middle Tennessee.
Cooper had a career-high four hits and scored twice, while Carroll added three. Knox, Kemp, Beachum and Harp all had a pair of hits, with Knox driving in three runs and Cooper, Carroll and Akers adding two RBIs each.
Jordan (1-1) took the loss for Belmont, allowing four runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings.
Middle Tennessee hosts Tennessee Tech Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Reese Smith Field before beginning Sun Belt Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at home against New Mexico State.
Jerry Knox made his first career start Tuesday against Belmont ... Jeff Beachum's single in the second extended his hitting streak to five games ... Chad Cooper, Troy Harp and Brett Carroll all extended their hitting streak to three games ... Cooper had a career-high four hits in the contest and reached base five times.
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