Miller Hits First Home Run in 7-3 Win

Hines ends day 3 for 5 against Southern Illinois

March 5, 2008 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A two-run home run by freshman Justin Miller sealed a 7-3 win for the Blue Raiders over Southern Illinois on Wednesday.

Miller's home run to centerfield came in the bottom of the eighth with the Blue Raiders up 5-3.

Miller's home run was the first of his career as he ended the day 1 for 2 with three RBI and scored two runs.

""Justin Miller with the go-ahead two run homer put the game well in hand," head coach Steve Peterson said. "Defensively, I thought Taylor Dennis played a major league second base. He turned the last double play after getting the ball in-between hops and really played an outstanding second base.

Junior Nathan Hines guided the Blue Raider (7-1-1) offense as he ended the day 3 for 5 with a home run, double, one RBI and scored three runs. Hines now has nine doubles and one home run on the season.

Sophomore Chad Edwards improved to 2-0 on the mound as he took the win with his one and a third inning appearance. Edwards allowed no runs on three hits in the outing.

Senior Langdon Stanley took the save as he entered with one out in the eighth. Stanley pitched one and a third innings allowing just one hit.

Middle Tennessee scored seven runs on nine hits while holding the Salukis (3-5) to just three runs on 11 hits.

Sophomore Blake McDade started the scoring for the Blue Raiders as he hit the first pitch he saw down the left field line to bring in Hines, who also doubled, 1-0 MT.

Junior Zach Hudson doubled his first time up to the plate in the second inning and then scored on a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.

To lead off the bottom of the third inning Hines hit a home run to left field extending the Blue Raiders' lead to 4.

The Salukis put a run on the board in the top of the fourth on a single to right field by Lou Johanns to score Roberts from second. Johanns then added another run as he scored on a throwing error by third baseman senior Zach Barrett, 3-2 MT.

SIU tied the game at 3 in the top of the fourth on a single by Tyler Choate which brought in Mark Kelly from second.

Middle Tennessee regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh as McDade hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield with the bases loaded to score Miller from third, 4-3. Then Hines scored after a throwing error by third baseman Johanns to first base.

"It is good to go into the New Orleans series with a win and we just need to swing the bats better" Peterson said.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Friday, March 7 when it opens the conference season by hosting New Orleans. First pitch on Friday is set for 4 p.m. at Reese Smith Field. Game two of the three-game series is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 and the series finale will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 9.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.