Raiders Offense Knocks Around FIU, 13-4
Scott works 6.1 strong innings for third consecutive victoryMay 12, 2007 · MT Media Relations
Kendrick and Bishop hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning and both doubled in the fifth. Kendrick walked to leadoff the seventh and scored on Bishop's second double of the contest. Middle Tennessee (28-23, 15-11 Sun Belt) blew open the game with a five-run eighth inning, including a two-run single from Myles Ervin and run-scoring hits by Zach Barrett and Blake McDade.
The Blue Raiders scored in five straight innings to overcome an early 2-0 deficit. The home runs from Kendrick and Bishop tied the game in the fourth and Middle Tennessee took the lead for good with three runs in the fifth with the back-to-back doubles from Kendrick and Bishop.
Scott (5-4) worked 6.1 innings for his third straight victory, giving up just five hits and two earned runs. The righthander walked two, struck out one and hit three batters.
The Blue Raiders pounded out 17 hits in the game and every spot in the order had at least one hit. Ervin was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, while McDade came off the bench to add two hits and two RBIs.
FIU's Corey Polizzano (4-7) allowed five runs on six hits in five innings of work to take the loss, walking two and striking out three. Raimy Fuentes collected three of team's eight this in the contest for Florida International (25-26, 11-14), including a solo homer to leadoff the seventh.
The Golden Panthers took the first lead in the contest with a pair of runs in the second inning. Luis Bautista was hit to leadoff but was forced out at second on Bryan Pullin's sacrifice attempt. Tyler Townsend's grounder moved Pullin to second before John Petika hit a line drive down the first base line off the glove of a diving Bishop.
The ball rolled into short rightfield. Bishop retrieved it and made the throw to the plate, but it short-hopped the catcher, Drew Robertson, allowing Pullin to score. The ball got away from Robertson and Petika moved to second on the play. Fuentes followed with an RBI double into leftcenter for a 2-0 FIU lead.
Kendrick cut the FIU lead in half with a solo homer to left to leadoff the fourth, his fifth of the season. Bishop hit the next pitch from Polizzano over the wall in righfield for his 15th home run of the year, tying the contest at two.
The Blue Raiders took the lead in the fifth with three runs on three hits. Robertson drew a one-out walk and Barrett singled on the leftside with two outs. With the runners moving on a full-count pitch, Kendrick laced a double into leftcenter, plating Robertson and Barrett. Bishop followed with a looping double deep down the leftfield line and just fair, scoring Kendrick for a 5-2 Middle Tennessee advantage.
The visitors added another run in the sixth and could have had more. Ervin led off with a single, stole second and scored on McDade's chopper to center. Grant Box followed with a walk and Robertson sacrificed the runners to second and third. But Matt Ray struck out swinging and Barrett fouled out to end the threat and the inning with the Blue Raiders leading, 6-2.
FIU stranded a runner at third with two outs in both the fourth and fifth innings and got a two-out single from Pullin and a walk by Townsend in the sixth, but Scott worked out of the jam, getting Petika to ground out to Ray at short.
Kendrick started the Blue Raider seventh with a walk and scored on Bishop's double off the base of the wall in centerfield. Adam Warren beat out an infield single before Ervin singled just past the diving FIU shortstop into leftfield, plating Bishop. The Raiders could have added more, but McDade flied out after a nine-pitch at-bat and Box bounced into an inning-ending doubleplay with Middle Tennessee leading, 8-2.
Fuentes finally found the range against Scott, homering to dead centerfield to leadoff the seventh. Fuentes flied out to deep center earlier in the game against Scott and also had a deep flyout in Friday's contest.
Manuel Arrojo was then hit for the second time in the second and Chris Dunn flied out to deep leftcenter. That prompted a pitching change for the Blue Raiders, ending the day for Scott.
Tyler Copeland came on and got a deep flyout from Corey Lozano and struck out the conference's leading hitter, James McOwen, looking to end the inning. McOwen is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in the two games in the series.
Middle Tennessee broke open the contest with five more runs in the eighth. Robertson led off with a double down the rightfield line and Ray followed with a soft single to right. Barrett then singled to right, scoring Robertson.
Kendrick lined out sharply to third, but Ray later scored on a wild pitch. Bishop then drew a walk and Warren was hit before Ervin drove home two runs with a single to left. McDade plated Warren with a single to rightcenter for a 13-3 Blue Raider advantage.
The Golden Panthers scored once in the ninth after Fuentes led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Dunn's single to right. Pinch-hitter DePhillip Mason singled later in the inning, but pinch-hitter Kevin Mirabal flied out to center to end the contest.
Copeland worked the final 2.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
The two teams conclude the series Sunday at Noon CT, with the Blue Raiders sending Jordan Alvis (1-1, 4.59 ERA) to the mound to face FIU's Walker Whitley (3-3, 6.17 ERA).
Rawley Bishop extended his hitting streak to seven games with a home run in the fourth ... Zach Barrett extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fifth ... Drew Robertson extended his hitting streak to five games with a double in the eighth ... Rawley Bishop's solo homer in the fourth was his 15th round-tripper of the season, tying him for ninth on the single-season list at Middle Tennessee with Todd Martin (2006), Josh Archer (2003), Jaime Walker (1995) and Dwight Robinson (1990) ... Wayne Kendrick's double in the fifth inning gave the senior 84 hits for the season, tying him with Marshall Nisbett (2001 and 2002) for ninth on the single-season hits list. It also gave Kendrick 19 doubles this season, tying him for ninth on the single-season list with Brandon Johnson (2001), Mike Severence (1991), George Zimmerman (1989) and Bob Tribbey (1985).
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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