South Alabama Wins Series With 11-3 WinApril 20, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - South Alabama scored six times in the first three innings and never looked back in defeating Middle Tennessee, 11-3, Sunday afternoon at Reese Smith Field.
The Jaguars (27-12, 8-4 SBC) got a run in the first when leadoff hitter T.J. Touchstone blooped a single into short center and moved all the way to third when a pickoff throw to first was wild. Cole Craig then singled home the run for an early 1-0 Jaguar lead.
USA got another run in the second when Brett Parker singled and Touchstone blooped a double into short right, putting runners at second and third. After a walk loaded the bases, Ryan Fillingim plated the run with a sacrifice fly to left for a 2-0 Jaguar advantage.
The Blue Raiders (19-21, 6-9) got on the board in the bottom of the frame, as Kevin Suba, who started at first base for the first time this season, drew a one-out walk and scored on Jeff Beachum's double off the base of the rightfield wall.
But South Alabama opened the lead in the third with four more runs, as Blue Raider starter Chris Mobley had trouble finding the strike zone.
Adam Lind doubled before Tim Land and Kevin Sytko walked to load the bases. Parker cleared the bases with a double to rightcenter, and the nine-hole hitter scored on Touchstone's double to the same spot, giving the Jaguars a 6-1 lead.
Chad Cooper cut into the lead for the Blue Raiders with a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the third.
Neither team did much in the middle innings until Josh Touchstone and Land both hit solo shots in the seventh to give the Jags an 8-2 lead.
The Blue Raiders had an opportunity to get back in the game in the bottom of the seventh, as Clif Thomas walked to leadoff before Beachum singled and Chuck Akers walked to load the bases. South Alabama went to the bullpen for Tony Neal, his second outing in as many days. Neal got a doubleplay off the bat of Nate Jaggers and a ground ball to end the inning from Cooper, with Middle Tennessee scoring just one run in the inning to leave the Jaguars with a five-run advantage.
South Alabama added three more runs in the eighth for the final margin.
Mobley (1-4) lasted just three innings and allowed six runs on eight hits to take the loss. The sophomore walked four and struck out five. Danny Borne tossed three shutout innings until the solo home runs in the seventh by the Jaguars.
South Alabama's Tommy Major (8-1) got the win with six-plus innings of work, giving up three runs on five hits. Major walked six and struck out five. Neal worked the final three innings for the second straight day and his fourth save of the year.
Beachum had two of Middle Tennesse's six hits in the contest.
T.J. Touchstone went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored, pacing South Alabama's 15-hit attack. Land added three hits while Josh Touchstone, Lind and Parker all had a pair of hits. Parker also added three RBIs.
Middle Tennessee finishes its current seven-game homestand with a pair of 7 p.m. contests this week, hosting Belmont and Austin Peay on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
The Blue Raiders used their 34th different batting order in 40 games ... Kevin Suba made his start of the season at first base and the Blue Raiders had four lefthanded bats in the lineup for the first time this season ... Chris Mobley allowed a career-high eight hits and tied his career-high with six earned runs allowed in his start on Sunday.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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