Hines Hits Two Home Runs in 16-11 Win
Blue Raiders split with New Orleans on SundayMarch 9, 2008 · MT Media Relations
With the win, Middle Tennessee snapped an eight game win streak for the Privateers as the two teams evened to 1-1 in league play. The Blue Raiders improve to 8-2-1 on the season while New Orleans fell to 8-3.
Junior Hines continued to lead the Blue Raiders in the second game of the day as he was 4 for 6 with two home runs, five RBI and scored three runs.
"16 to 11, I am obviously not a pitching coach. I felt like I wanted to get Nathan another at bat with a runner on base. I don't think Nathan is a classic lead-off hitter, but I don't know that we have a classic lead-off hitter. Nathan likes to hit the first pitch, it is just his personality," head coach Steve Peterson said.
Adding to the Blue Raider offense was sophomore Blake McDade who ended the day a perfect 4 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Zach Barrett also performed well at the plate as he was 3 for 6 with one RBI, three runs scored and one double.
"Zach is learning how but if he could learn how to be a little quieter at the plate without lunging he could be a power hitter. I think he is very willing to hit the ball the other way. With Nathan in the two-hole it allows him to swing a little more," Peterson said.
Junior Jordan Alvis took the win as he allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits with five strikeouts in five innings of work.
"I think Joe Craddock had a lot to do with getting Jordan through the fifth inning. He just made Jordan bear down and keep his mind in the game. Just because you are not in the ballgame does not mean you can't do something to contribute and I thought Joe did," Peterson said. "He came out in the fifth inning and even though he gave up one inning he had a solid inning. That is the bookend inning and you get through you have the win."
Stephen Whalen took the loss for New Orleans as he allowed nine runs, six earned, on nine hits in two and two thirds of an inning.
Hines stayed hot in game two as he hit his second home run in as many games, a two-run blast to centerfield to begin the scoring for Middle Tennessee.
Alvis loaded the bases in the top of the second with two outs and then balked in a runner to close the gap, 2-1. UNO scored another run on a fielder's choice by Barrett to tie the game at 2.
The Blue Raiders scored seven runs on eight hits to take a 9-2 lead in the bottom of the third. There were no extra base hits in the inning.
Ryan Eden then scored two runs for the Privateers with his single to left field, 9-4.
Sophomore Drew Robertson added two runs for the Blue Raiders with his single up the middle which scored junior Rawley Bishop from second. Junior Taylor Dennis advanced to third on a throwing error by the centerfielder and then scored while the ball was still being thrown around, 11-4 MT.
Mark McGonigle hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth to add to UNO's scoring. Joey Butler hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth to close the gap to two, 11-9.
Hines extended the lead in the bottom of the seventh with his second home run of the game which scored Barrett from second, 13-9. Two batters later, freshman Bryce Brentz hit a two-run home run, scoring McDade from first to give the Blue Raiders a 15-9 lead. Junior Zach Dean followed Brentz with a long ball of his own. Middle Tennessee ended the bottom of the seventh scoring five runs on five hits.
Jeff Lanning hit another home run in the top of the ninth to give the Privateers two more runs, 16-11.
Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Tuesday, March 11 at 2 p.m. when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to face Tennessee.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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