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Raiders Pound Out 17 Hits in 8-5 Victory

April 28, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee pounded out a season-high 17 hits, including four from Eric McNamee and three each by Brett Carroll and Derek Phillips, in defeating Memphis, 8-5, and earning a split of the two-game series here Tuesday afternoon at Nat Buring Stadium.

The Blue Raiders (27-16) started well with a two-run first but fell behind 4-3 after five innings. Middle Tennessee finally took advantage of scoring opportunities with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run homer from Nate Jaggers.

The top four spots in the order for the Blue Raiders went 11-for-19 with four RBIs and five runs scored, as every player in the lineup had at least one hit. Shane Kemp added a pair of hits to five Middle Tennessee four players with multi-hits in the contest.

Shay Horseman (1-2) got the win with five innings of work, allowing four runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Danny Borne worked three scoreless innings before Steve Kline and Eric Blevins got the final three outs.

Corey Kines (1-1), the second of three Memphis hurlers, took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits in three-plus innings.

"It was a good day to hit. We've had some days like this when we really didn't really respond, but we spread them out, had some big hits, some clutch hits, hit behind runners and kept our strikeouts down," Blue Raider head coach Steve Peterson said.

"[Eric] McNamee had a good day and Phillips continues to hit. I've said he is a lefthanded McNamee, just with more power. He really stays on the ball and makes things happen.

"I was also glad for Shay Horseman today. He struggled early but finally figured it out that the harder he threw, the worse it was. He settled down and got some sink on the fastball and got us a lot of big outs."

The Blue Raiders got off to their second straight good start, as McNamee led off with a single and Phillips belted his third home run of the year for a 2-0 lead after a half inning.

Memphis (21-17) got a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning from Chad House, a line drive that just cleared the wall in leftcenter and cut the Blue Raider lead in half.

The Tigers took the lead in the second, as Ryan Martin and Kyle Scott singled to leadoff and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Payne. Michael Lewis then dumped a single into rightcenter, plating both runners for a 3-2 UM lead.

Middle Tennessee tied the game in the third and had a chance for a big inning, but could not capitalize on the opportunity.

McNamee had another leadoff singled but was gunned down trying to steal second. Chuck Akers and Phillips both singled before Carroll's double down the leftfield line plated Akers to tie the contest.

After a walk loaded the bases, the Tigers went to the bullpen for Kines, who induced a 5-4-3 doubleplay from Kemp to end the inning and the threat.

Memphis regained the lead in the fifth when House tripled with one out before a sacrifice fly to left from Bill Moss, giving the Tigers a 4-3 advantage.

The Blue Raiders finally got their big inning in the sixth, taking advantage of three errors by the home team.

Carroll beat out an infield single and went to second on a throwing error. Jaggers then delivered his first home run of the year and first hit of the series, a two-run shot to leftcenter to give the Blue Raiders a 5-4 lead.

Kemp walked before Wayne Kendrick, making his first career start, beat out what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt. Chase Eakes moved the runners up with a bunt before Michael McKenry singled to left against the third Memphis pitcher of the day, Bill Edwards. Kemp scored and Kendrick came in when House had trouble in leftfield for a 7-4 Middle Tennessee lead.

The Blue Raiders added an insurance run in the ninth, with McNamee collecting his fourth single of the game to leadoff. He moved to second on a sac bunt from Akers and scored on an RBI single from Phillips.

Memphis got a solo homer in the ninth from Scott, but Blevins worked around a two-out single to record the final two outs of the contest.

"We really played outstanding defense today," Peterson added. "[Brett] Carroll made a great catch on sinking popup to start the ninth and finished the game with a diving play towards the line."

Middle Tennessee opens a three-game series Friday at 7 p.m. against Western Kentucky at Reese Smith Field. The Lady Raider basketball team, as well as nine Middle Tennessee track seniors, will be honored prior to the game. Baseball Senior Day is Saturday before the 2 p.m. first pitch, and Little League Day is Sunday for the 1 p.m. contest.

GAME NOTES Freshman Wayne Kendrick made his first career start, getting the nod at shortstop in place of Jeff Beachum, who missed his first game since March 9, 2003, a span of 92 games ... Senior Derek Phillips extended his career-long hitting streak to 13 games with a two-run homer in the first, his third round-tripper of the year. Phillips matches Brett Carroll for the longest streak this season and the longest since Chad Cooper's 14-game hitting streak last season ... Junior Brett Carroll has hit safely in six straight games after his single in the first ... Junior Eric McNamee recorded four hits in the game, his first four-hit and 25th multi-hit contest of the season ... The Blue Raiders pounded out a season-high 17 hits as a team, with McNamee getting four and Carroll and Phillips adding three each ... Phillips tied his career high for hits and RBIs, getting three of each in the contest ... Shay Horseman picked up the win, his first of the year and first since April 9, 2003, also against Memphis, a span of 13 appearances.

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