Brentz Helps MT Sweep Gamecocks

Freshman hits home run and double as MT wins 17-8

February 24, 2008 · MT Media Relations
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Freshman Bryce Brentz went 4 for 5 as Middle Tennessee swept its three-game series with Jacksonville State on Sunday pulling away late for a 17-8 win.

With the game tied at 7, Middle Tennessee (3-0) regained the lead in the top of the eighth inning and never looked back as sophomore Drew Robertson scored on a throwing error by the short stop, Josh Sanders. After junior Rawley Bishop loaded the bases on a base on balls, Brentz doubled to clear the bases and extend the lead, 11-7 MT.

JSU's (0-3) Clay Whittemore singled in the bottom of the eighth to drive in a run from second, 11-8 MT.

The Blue Raiders scored another run in the ninth on a JSU error as junior Taylor Dennis scored from first on a fielding error by the second baseman. Alex Jones then hit two straight batters to load the bases as Bishop doubled to bring in the runs. Then Brentz hit a two out two-run home run to extend the lead again, 17-8.

Freshman PJ Francescon started on the mound for the Blue Raiders as he pitched 3.1 innings allowing four runs on three hits. Junior Kevin Whittaker took the mound in relief and received the win as he pitched 3.2 innings allowing four runs on five hits.

Freshman Michael Adamson and sophomore Chad Edwards also pitched in relief for the Blue Raiders on Sunday.

"This was by no means a pretty game but we battled through it and our pitchers battled through it. PJ is better than what he did today. When you do not get a quality start it gets difficult but I though Michael Adamson did a great job of getting the left-handers out," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Middle Tennessee posted double digit hits for the second consecutive day and also hit a season high five doubles. The Blue Raiders ended the day with 17 hits and two errors while holding the Gamecocks to 10 hits. JSU had four errors in the game and Sanders had two.

Brentz led the Blue Raiders offensively as he went 4 for 5 with five RBI, a double, home run and scored two runs. Brentz's home run was the second of the season and his career.

Bishop also had a strong outing for Middle Tennessee hitting two doubles and scoring three runs as he ended the day 3 for 5 with three RBI.

Junior Nathan Hines added to the offense as he ended the day 2 for 5 with one RBI and scored two runs. Sophomore Dillon Heath was 2 for 5 with one RBI and scored one run.

"Bryce has swung the bat well throughout the entire series. I like what Dillon Heath did, he had some bad at bats and then he had some really big at bats. We had big at bats and clutch at bats. When you get eight RBI from your four, five and six hitters it is who you should be getting RBI from," Peterson said.

Bishop started the second inning off for the Blue Raiders with a double and then scored on a single by Heath. Ervin then singled which scored Brentz from second. Heath also scored on the play after a throwing error to third base by the right fielder, 3-0 MT.

The Blue Raiders added a run in the third as Hines scored after sophomore Blake McDade flied out to center field. Hines doubled to reach and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

JSU put a run on the board in the third after a hit by Whittemore scored Steven Leach from second. Leach reached first on a base on balls and then advanced to second on a passed ball by Robertson, 4-1 MT.

Middle Tennessee added two runs in the fourth after Hines doubled to score Dennis from third and senior Zach Barrett flied out to left field which brought in Robertson from third, 6-1.

The Gamecocks' scored six runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-6 lead, its first in the three-game series. Josh Hoyle started the inning off with a double for JSU and then scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Then Daniel Adamson scored on a single by Blake Seguin and Josh Sanders scored on an error by Dennis. Whittemore hit a three-run home run, the first for JSU and give the Gamecocks a one run lead.

In the top of the sixth, Middle Tennessee tied the game after two straight two out doubles. Barrett doubled to reach and then McDade drove in the run with a double of his own.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. as it goes travels to Cookville, Tenn., to play Tennessee Tech.

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