Mobley's Arm, McKenry's Blast Give Blue Raiders 10-5 WinMarch 6, 2004 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders sent 12 batters to the plate in the eight-run eighth inning, collecting seven hits to break open a 2-2 game and win the first game of the twinbill.
Eric McNamee reached for the fourth time in the game to start the rally. He went to second on a passed ball before Marcus Taylor chopped one to second base. Taylor beat the throw to first and went to second when the throw went into the dugout, allowing McNamee to score from second on the play.
That chased SLU starter Chad Pendarvis (0-2), who pitched well enough to win but got little help from his offense and bullpen. Pendarvis gave up four runs on six hits in seven-plus innings, walking and striking out four.
The Blue Raiders got consecutive singles from Brett Carroll and Josh Archer, plating Taylor, against Lions reliever Paul Garner before a Nate Jaggers walk loaded the bases. McKenry then belted a fastball over the wall in leftcenter for his first collegiate hit, clearing the bases and giving Middle Tennessee an 8-2 lead.
Shane Kemp followed with a solo blast, his second of the season, and Taylor later plated McNamee with an RBI single for the final run of the inning.
Middle Tennessee starter Chris Mobley (2-1) got through a rocky first inning, settling down and tying the longest outing in his career and his longest as a starter. Mobley went seven innings, tying his career-high for the second straight outing with nine strikeouts, allowing a pair of unearned runs and walking three.
Travis Horschel worked the final two innings for the Blue Raiders, allowing three runs on three hits.
McNamee went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, while Taylor added three hits and three RBIs.
The Blue Raiders had a chance to get on the board in the first when the first two batters reached, but Carroll's high chopper turned into a doubleplay and Archer lined out to end the inning.
The Lions took advantage of a Blue Raider mistake to get on the board in their half of the first. A bad-hop single and another single that found the hole through the leftside started the frame.
With the bases loaded and one out, Randy Roth bounced one to Carroll at third, but the junior's throw to the plate sailed over McKenry's head at the plate. A bases-loaded walk forced in another run, giving the home team a 2-0 advantage after an inning.
Neither team could muster any offensive opportunities until the top of the sixth when McNamee singled to leadoff and Taylor followed with a line drive down the rightfield line that got out of the park in a hurry, tying the game at two.
Mobley worked himself into a jam in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a pair of batters with two outs, but the junior got his seventh strikeout of the game to end the inning.
The two teams conclude their three-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Blue Raiders play at Lipscomb on Tuesday and Belmont on Wednesday before returning home next weekend to face Southwest Missouri State.
Eric McNamee singled to leadoff the game, reaching base for the seventh straight game. The junior has hit safely in six of those seven outings ... Junior Chris Mobley worked seven innings in the game, tying his longest career outing and setting a new career-high for innings as a starter. Mobley also tied his career-high for the second straight outing with nine strikeouts. He also threw seven innings at South Alabama in the Sun Belt Championships on May 22, 2002, all in relief. Mobley had previously worked 6.1 innings as a starter twice (April 23, 2002 at Vanderbilt; May 24, 2003 vs. Western Kentucky) ... Freshman Michael McKenry collected his first career-high in the eighth inning, a grand slam to break open a close game ... The Blue Raiders got their first win in Hammond under head coach Steve Peterson, moving his all-time record against the Lions to 3-5.
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