Carroll's Homer Provides 5-4 VictoryApril 11, 2004 · MT Media Relations
Carroll got a fastball from FIU reliever Mark Worrell and got it up into the wind, just clearing the wall for his sixth home run of the season and his third hit of the contest.
Travis Horschel (1-0), the fourth Middle Tennessee pitcher of the game, worked two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk to get the victory.
The win moves Middle Tennessee to 20-12 overall, 4-5 in the Sun Belt, keeping the Blue Raiders in the middle of the conference race after three weeks. The win was the first in four tries against FIU since Middle Tennessee joined the Sun Belt. It was also the first conference road series win for the Blue Raiders since April 11-13, 2003, at Arkansas State.
Worrell (2-6) did not allow a hit until Carroll's homer in the 10th, striking out eight with one walk in six innings of relief.
Blue Raider starter BJ Church deserved better than a no decision, allowing four runs, three earned, on just four hits in a season-high 6.1 innings. The sophomore struck out five and walked two.
"This was a very big win for us," Blue Raider head coach Steve Peterson said. "BJ did a terrific job and as we continue to build up his pitch count, he'll be even better.
"We had a lot of trouble with Worrell but Brett had a good swing and it was the difference. Travis has been better against lefthanders and that proved big against their five lefthanded hitters."
The Blue Raiders scored a run in the second after Marcus Taylor led off with a double and Jeff Beachum followed with a single through the left side. Beachum then stole second and when the throw got away into short centerfield, Taylor raced home for a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Panthers (21-19, 6-3) took the lead in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff single from Fernando Alvarez. With one out Brian Aragon got a high fastball and belted it opposite field, over the wall in leftfield for his third home run of the season and a 2-1 FIU advantage.
Middle Tennessee retook the lead in the fourth inning, as Beachum drew a leadoff walk and Troy Harp followed two batters later with a blast over the wall in leftfield, a two-run shot and Harp's third round-tripper of the season.
The home run chased FIU starter Andrew Edwards from the contest, but the Blue Raiders continued to put hits on the board. Eric McNamee greeted Golden Panthers reliever Manuel Monreal with a single and after an error moved the runner to third, Derek Phillips chopped a single into left, his third hit of the day, scoring McNamee for a 4-2 edge.
Two errors and a walk helped the Golden Panthers tie the game in the sixth with just two hits.
P.J. Lehmann's singled with one out and advanced to second when Shane Kemp bobbled the ball in centerfield. A wild pitch moved the runner to third before Jeff Skellenger walked. Yahmed Yema then hit a slow-roller down the third base line on an excuse-me swing.
Third baseman Carroll had but one play on the ball, flipping toward the plate to try and get Lehmann at the plate. But the throw hit the runner in the back, allowing Lehmann to score and Skellenger to advance to third when it got away from Harp.
Alvarez singled to right, scoring Skellenger and tying the game at four. The Raiders were able to get out of the inning without any further damage with a popout and a strikeout, but not before the damage was done.
Edwards gave up three runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings, striking out six.
Phillips had three hits in the contest and six in two games in the series, while Carroll added three hits and McNamee two in the 11-hit attack.
The Blue Raiders return home next week to start a seven-game homestand starting Tuesday against Belmont at 7 p.m. at Reese Smith Field.
Junior Brett Carroll extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with a single in the third ... Junior Eric McNamee collected two hits in the contest, his 18th mulit-hit game of the year ... Derek Phillips had three hits in the outing and has now hit safely in 14 of 18 starts this year. The senior went 6-for-10 in the series, playing in two games ... Sophomore righthander BJ Church worked a season-long 6.1 innings in the contest.
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