Blue Raiders Win, 9-5March 29, 2003 · MT Media Relations
LAFAYETTE, La. - John Williams tossed six-plus strong innings and Danny Borne came on to get the final five outs while five Blue Raiders had a pair of hits as Middle Tennessee took a 9-5 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Middle Tennessee got out to a 7-1 lead but watched the home team get four runs in the seventh before Borne came on to get the final out of the inning. The sophomore lefthander worked 2.1 hitless innings to earn his first save this season.
Chad Cooper, Brett Carroll, Chris LeGuenec, Shane Kemp and Jeff Beachum all had a pair of hits for the Blue Raiders in their 13-hit attack, with LeGuenec and Kemp each homering to give Middle Tennessee the lead.
The Cajuns got the early lead in the game, though, when Brad Saloom led off the second with a single and went to second on a groundout. Designated hitter Rhett Buras then stayed back on a high changeup and hit it to the deepest part of the park, just over the outstretched arm of Blue Raider centerfielder Chuck Akers, plating Saloom for a 1-0 Lafayette lead.
Middle Tennessee got on the board in the fourth, as Carroll singled with one out before LeGuenec blasted a low changeup well over the leftfield wall for a 2-1 Blue Raider lead.
The squad added two more runs in the inning, as Josh Archer reached on a throwing error by Cajun third baseman Dallas Morris. Archer came around to score on a wild pitch later in the frame. Chuck Akers also walked in the inning and later scored on a bloop single to left from Beachum, giving the Blue Raiders a 4-1 lead.
Middle Tennessee expanded the lead in the sixth with a solo home run over the scoreboard in leftfield by Kemp for a 5-1 advantage. Akers followed with a walk and scored on Troy Harp's two-out double to leftcenter and Cooper drove in Harp with a single to left, chasing Cajun starter Andy Gros.
Lafayette cut into the lead in the seventh when Saloom blooped a double down the rightfield line with one out. Williams fell behind 2-0 to Phillip Hawke and the Cajun first baseman belted the next pitch over the wall in rightcenter.
Buras and Morris followed with back-to-back doubles, cutting the lead to 7-4 before a trip to the mound from Blue Raider head coach Steve Peterson. Williams got a fly out before Jason Wilson's ground ball was booted by Cooper at shortstop. The ball kicked away from Cooper, allowing Morris to score from second and make it a two-run game.
Corey Coles singled up the middle to put runners on the corners and chase Williams from the contest. Borne came in to end the threat, striking out Bryan Sneed. Borne also worked a 1-2-3 eighth before the Blue Raiders added some insurance in the ninth.
Cooper singled to leadoff and went to second on Marcus Taylor's sacrifice bunt. Carroll then doubled to rightcenter to drive in a run and Josh Archer later plated Carroll with a double down the rightfield line for a 9-5 Blue Raider edge.
Borne walked a batter in the ninth, but that was the only runner to reach in the 10 he faced, striking out four to get the save.
Eight of the nine Blue Raider batters had at least one hit, while seven Middle Tennessee players had at least one RBI.
Saloom and Buras each had two hits for the Cajuns.
Gros (2-5) gave up seven runs, five earned, on eight hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Williams (1-2) retired 15 straight batters at one point until the flood gates opened in the seventh for Lafayette. The junior lefthander allowed eight hits in 6.2 innings with three strikeouts, giving up five runs, four earned. It was his first win since March 29 of last year, a 7-5 win at New Orleans covering eight starts.
The two teams conclude the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m., with Middle Tennessee's Jerry Knox facing Lafayette's Jordy Templet.
Jeff Beachum extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in third ... Chad Cooper extended his hitting streak to a team-best 11 games with a single in the sixth ... Josh Archer extended his hitting streak to seven with a double in the ninth ... John Williams got his first win since March 29, 2002, a 7-5 victory at New Orleans covering eight starts.
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