Tigers Defeat Blue Raiders, 6-2April 9, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Brent Dlugach's three-run homer in the eighth provided insurance for visiting Memphis in a close game, as the Tigers defeated Middle Tennessee, 6-2, Tuesday night at a cold and damp Reese Smith Field.
Memphis (11-20) held a 3-2 edge heading into the eighth against Blue Raider starter BJ Church. The freshman righthander walked Michael Lewis and hit Kurt Welch before Blue Raider head coach Steve Peterson made a trip to the mound. Church stayed in to face Dlugach, who deposited the first pitch just over the rightfield wall for a 6-2 Memphis advantage, giving the Tigers insurance they would need in the ninth.
Middle Tennessee headed into its final at-bat down four but loaded the bases with one out.
Shane Kemp and Kevin Suba both singled before Chuck Akers drew a walk against Stephen Gostkowski, the seventh of eight Tiger hurlers. Brandon Rowan came on for Memphis to strike out Marcus Taylor and get Nate Jaggers to line out and end the game, with Rowan earning his second save of the season.
Church (1-1) worked seven strong innings but ran out of gas in the eighth, allowing six runs, four earned, on five hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Bill Edwards (3-4), the second Tiger pitcher, got the win, giving up one run on a hit in two innings of work. The Tiger bullpen did not allow a hit after the second until Kemp's leadoff single in the ninth, as Daniel Adams, Drew Kimmelman, Corey Kines and Andrew Christie along with Edwards combined to toss six scoreless innings.
The Blue Raiders (13-18) took the early lead in the contest with three hits in the first. Taylor doubled with one out and later scored on a Jaggers single to left.
The Tigers took the lead in the second thanks to a walk and an error from Church. Welch drew a walk before Dlugach laid down a sacrifice bunt. Dlugach's bunt was booted by Church, and Kyle Scott moved both runners up a base with his own sac bunt. A Ryan Martin groundout plated Welch, and Kyle Sledd drove in Dlugach with a single to left for a 2-1 UM lead.
The Blue Raiders knotted the game in their half of the frame, as Kemp walked and stole second before Derek Phillips drove in the run with a double over the centerfielder's head.
Memphis took the lead again in the fourth with a double from Scott and a pair of groundouts, the second scoring the run off the bat of Sledd. The Tigers delivered the dagger in the eighth, scoring three times to take a four-run lead.
The Blue Raiders and Tigers square off at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Reese Smith in the final of their four games this season. Middle Tennessee travels to Arkansas State this weekend for a Sun Belt Conference series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Freshman BJ Church made his third straight midweek start and second against Memphis ... Derek Phillips recorded the first stolen base of his career in the fourth ... Jeff Beachum (11) and Brett Carroll (7) both had their hitting streaks stopped Tuesday night against the Tigers, combining to go 0-for-6 in the contest.
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