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Horseman Strong in Blue Raider Victory

Blue Raiders win fifth straight against Samford

February 20, 2007 · MT Media Relations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Shay Horseman scattered four hits over six innings and Rawley Bishop drove in three runs with a pair of doubles in Middle Tennessee's 9-1 victory over Samford at Joe Lee Griffin Field Tuesday.

Horseman (1-0) threw just 82 pitches in the six innings, striking out three with just one walk. He ran into trouble only once, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with a doubleplay ball. Samford's only run came on a solo homer in the sixth by pinch-hitter Drew Reagan.

Freshman Matt Yurus tossed three hitless innings to earn the save, striking out two and walking one. He retired nine of the 10 batters he faced.

The Blue Raiders (2-2) won their fifth straight in the series against Samford and third in a row in Birmingham. Middle Tennessee swept two games in Murfreesboro last season and two contests at Griffin Field in 2005.

SU starter Josh Ehmke (1-1), who allowed one run in six innings last Friday to Arkansas State, was roughed up for eight runs, three earned, in 3.2 innings of work, walking one and striking out three. Middle Tennessee scored twice in the first and once in the second before erupting for six unearned runs in the fourth to chase Ehmke.

Samford (2-2) picked up just four hits in the contest and also made three errors in the game, two by third baseman Bill Whitehead.

Myles Ervin reached on an infield single to the right side with one out in the first inning and Wayne Kendrick followed with a walk. Adam Warren then hit a long fly ball to rightcenter.

Ervin tagged on the play and when the throw got away coming back to the infield, the freshman came all the way around to score. Bishop then ripped the first pitch off the base of the wall in rightcenter, plating Kendrick for an early 2-0 lead.

In the second inning Zach Barrett struck out on a pitch in the dirt and reached when the ball got away from catcher Luke Peavy. Barrett stole second and scored on freshman Drew Robertson's single to center for a 3-0 Middle Tennessee advantage.

The flood gates opened in the sixth thanks to a throwing error by Whitehead to start the frame on a grounder from Dillon Heath. Freshman Zach Hudson then singled to center before an RBI groundout from Barrett.

After a strikeout, the Blue Raiders collected five consecutive hits with two outs. Matt Ray singled to put runners on the corners before Ervin drove home Hudson with an RBI single to center. Wayne Kendrick plated Ray with a single to left and Warren blooped a single into short rightcenter, scoring Ervin.

Bishop then laced a double off the wall in leftcenter, missing a home run by just a few feet. Kendrick and Warren both scored on the play, and the Blue Raiders had a 9-0 lead, more than enough cushion for Horseman.

The fifth-year senior threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 25 batters he faced and threw two balls to just six of the hitters. The six innings of work was the second longest outing of his career and just one-third of an inning shy of his career-best, 6.1 versus Troy on March 22, 2004.

"When you've lost two games, you look for a pitcher to step up. You look for someone to match-up and Horseman did a great job of controlling their offense and pitched very effectively," head coach Steve Peterson said.

"He got great run support. Rawley had two big hits and Adam Warren drove in some runs. It was very impressive with the two-out hits [in the fourth inning].

"[Drew] Robertson caught a good solid ballgame and got his first collegiate hit. Myles Ervin keeps swinging the bat well and is a tough out right now, and Zach Hudson was aggressive and swung the bat well. It's very competitive in our outfield right now," Peterson said.

Middle Tennessee and Samford meet again Wednesday at 1 p.m. before the Blue Raiders return home for a three-game series this weekend against Bowling Green. Please note a game time change for this weekend's series. Saturday's game is now at 1 p.m., moved up an hour to accommodate fans hoping to also see the women's basketball game, which starts at 3 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.