Williams, Swing Combine for No-Hitter

February 21, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's John Williams and Chase Swing combined to throw just the third no-hitter in school history, while senior Shane Kemp was 3-for-4 in helping the Blue Raiders to a 4-0 victory over IP-Fort Wayne Saturday afternoon at Reese Smith Field.

Williams tossed six innings, striking out 12 and walking one, the only runner of the contest for IPFW. Swing then got the final nine outs for his first save of the year, his 12th career save.

Middle Tennessee's last no-hitter came March 16, 1997, with Brad Howard blanking Tennessee Tech, 12-0. Howard watched Saturday's effort, as a host of former Blue Raiders were in attendance among the crowd of 1,821.

Williams struck out the first two hitters of the contest before walking IPFW's Zack Walton, who stole second and went to third when Williams' pickoff throw to second was wild. But the senior lefthander struck out Ryan Armstrong to end the inning.

The Blue Raiders (2-0) gave the pitching staff all of the support it would need in the bottom of the first, thanks to some early wildness by Mastodons starter David Zachary.

Middle Tennessee's Chuck Akers led off with a walk and stole second, went to third on a balk and scored on Josh Archer's groundout. Zachary settled in after a walk and a single to start the second, retiring 10 of the next 12 hitters before tiring at the beginning of the sixth.

All the while Williams was mowing down the Mastodons, striking out 10 of the first 13 hitters of the game and a dozen of the 19 batters he faced, throwing 90 pitches total in his six innings of work.

In the sixth the Blue Raiders chased Zachary with back-to-back doubles from Eric McNamee and Brett Carroll to leadoff the inning. Marcus Taylor later scored in the frame on a walk to Chase Eakes, forcing in a run and giving the Blue Raiders a 3-0 edge.

Akers and McNamee combined for the final run of the game, this one to leadoff the seventh. Akers walked and stole second before McNamee's grounder up the middle made it into centerfield, driving in the run for the 4-0 lead.

Swing struck out the final two batters of the eighth and got nice defensive plays from Taylor in right and McNamee at second to get the final two outs of the contest.

Kemp had half of Middle Tennessee's six hits in the game, a far cry from the 24 runs on 16 hits the Blue Raiders compiled in Friday's season-opener for both teams. Middle Tennessee has walked 19 times in the two games after taking just 169 free passes in 60 games last season.

The Blue Raiders will send junior lefthander Steve Kline to the hill in Sunday's series finale at 1 p.m. Kline posted a 7-4 mark last season as the ace of the staff.

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