Baseball Falls in Finale, 11-5
But Blue Raiders win sixth Sun Belt series of the yearApril 22, 2007 · MT Media Relations
South Alabama (20-18, 6-11 Sun Belt) salvaged the final game of the series, but the Blue Raiders (23-21, 12-9) won their sixth series in seven tries this season in Sun Belt play. The Jaguars scored twice in the first and three times each in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
Sage (3-4) gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out six. Chris LaGrow got the final six outs for South Alabama.
Middle Tennessee starter Josh Anderson (1-2) lasted just 3.1 innings to take the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits. The lefthander struck out three and hit two batters in his shortest outing as a starter this season.
Matt Ray led off the game for the Blue Raiders with a double down the leftfield line and Kendrick walked with one out, but Matt Campbell lined out to deep leftcenter and Grant Box grounded out sharply up the middle the end the threat.
The Jaguars plated a pair of runs in the first to take an early lead, all after there were two outs. David Doss singled to left before Jeff Cunningham laced a double into rightcenter, scoring Doss from first. Joel Collins then singled through the leftside and Cunningham beat the throw from Myles Ervin for a 2-0 USA advantage.
South Alabama added three more runs in the second on three hits. Ray Kruml was hit with one out before a hit-and-run single to center from Bucky Kateon put runners on the corners. Heisler's single through the leftside scored Kruml and Clint Toomey followed with a two-run triple down the rightfield line.
The home team added three more runs in the fourth on five hits and one Blue Raider error. Kruml beat out an infield single to leadoff and moved to third on Kateon's single to left. Kateon tried to stretch it into a double but was finally tagged out after a six-person rundown. The Kateon single also ended the day for Anderson.
Heisler drove home Kruml with a single to left, but Heisler was thrown out trying to steal second. Toomey followed with a single off the glove of Ray at short before a fly ball to right from Doss was dropped by Campbell. Toomey scored on the play and Cunningham's second double of the contest plated Doss for an 8-0 USA lead.
Middle Tennessee finally got on the board in the fifth after Rawley Bishop drew a leadoff walk and Drew Robertson followed with a single. Ray lined out but Ervin hit his fifth home run of the year over the wall in left, cutting the deficit to 8-3.
But the Jaguars answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Michael Cart walked and Ryne Jernigan chopped a single into left to leadoff. After two strikeouts, Heisler ripped his first home run of the year to left, giving South Alabama an 11-3 advantage.
Zach Barrett singled with one out in the Blue Raider sixth and Warren followed with a home run to left, his fourth of the year, for the final scoring in the game.
Middle Tennessee returns home Wednesday to face Belmont at 6 p.m. at Reese Smith Field. The Blue Raiders are off next weekend and do not play again after Wednesday until May 4 at home against Florida Atlantic, a span of nine days.
A note for all parents - the annual Family Day Fish Fry will be held Saturday, May 5, after the 3 p.m. contest against Florida Atlantic. Please let Bobby Hines know if you are planning to attend.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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