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Phillips, Carroll Homers Power 8-4 Victory

May 12, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A solo homer by Derek Phillips broke a tie and Brett Carroll's three-run shot provided insurance for Middle Tennessee in an 8-4 victory over Memphis Wednesday night at Reese Smith Field.

The Blue Raiders (34-17) swept the two games at home and won three-of-four in the season series over the Tigers, the first year with three victories against UM since 2000. Middle Tennessee has won a season-high seven consecutive games and 17 of the last 24 overall.

Memphis tied the game in the top of the fifth with a solo homer by Bill Moss, a deep fly ball just inside the leftfield foul pole. But Phillips came back in the bottom of the inning to give the Blue Raiders the lead for good, belting his seventh homer of the year and second in two days over the centerfield wall for a 5-4 lead.

Carroll added his 11th blast of the season in the seventh, a three-run shot against UM reliever Corey Kines, providing the home team with an 8-4 advantage.

Memphis (22-25) threatened to score in the eighth, getting a pair of singles against Blue Raider reliever Travis Horschel. Jordan Hart then ripped a ball down the leftfield line that fell just foul, and Horschel was able to work out of the jam with a strikeout and a fielder's choice.

Danny Borne (2-0) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to get the victory, allowing two hits and striking out three. Middle Tennessee's Chris Mobley started the game and went 4.1 innings, giving up two earned runs with six strikeouts.

The game got off to a very slow start, with Mobley and UM starter Michael Novarese both having trouble finding the strike zone in the first inning.

Memphis used a single and an error to put runners on before Kurt Welch's double off the wall in leftcenter scored two runs in the top of the first. Mobley got out of the inning without further damage, inducing an inning-ending doubleplay.

But Novarese had even more trouble finding the zone, walking the first two batters and three of the first four to force in a run. A Nate Jaggers bloop single and Shane Kemp's single to left plated two more runs before another run was forced in with the fourth walk of the frame, giving the Blue Raiders a 4-2 advantage.

Memphis plated another unearned run in the second on Hart's RBI single, cutting the Middle Tennessee lead to 4-3.

Both starters settled down until the leadoff solo homer in the fifth from Moss. Mobley pitched to two more batters before exiting the contest because of a pitch count.

Borne came on and retired eight of the 10 batters he faced for his second win of the season and fifth consecutive winning decision dating to last year.

Phillips solo line drive homer came with two outs and no one on in the fifth against Novarese, his second hit of the night.

In the seventh Jeff Beachum and Chuck Akers both singled with one out to chase Novarese. After a strikeout Carroll hit a breaking ball from Kines high over the wall in leftcenter for his 11th round-tripper of the season. Phillips was 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the game, as the top four hitters in the lineup - Beachum, Akers, Phillips and Carroll, accounted for five of the team's eight hits and scored all eight runs.

Middle Tennessee is off this weekend and returns to the diamond next Wednesday to face Vanderbilt in Nashville at 6 p.m. The Blue Raiders play their final home series of the year on May 21-23 against Arkansas-Little Rock at Reese Smith Field.

GAME NOTES
Junior Eric McNamee did not play in the contest, his first missed game of the season. McNamee was held out of the lineup due to nagging injuries ... The Blue Raiders were out-hit, 11-8, in the contest, only the third win this year when an opponent has more hits than Middle Tennessee ... Junior Danny Borne picked up the win with 2.2 scoreless innings, his second win of the season and fifth consecutive winning decision dating to April 16, 2003 ... Middle Tennessee moved to 34-17 for the season with a season-high seventh straight win.

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