Blue Raiders Take 2-1 Win over Arkansas State

Roberts allows one run in solid outing

March 15, 2008 · MT Media Relations
JONESBORO, Ark. - Middle Tennessee's defense and a strong outing on the mound by sophomore Kenneth Roberts helped the Blue Raiders take a 2-1 win from the Indians on Saturday.

Roberts improved to 2-1 on the season as he took the win on the mound with his seven innings of work. Roberts allowed one run on six hits with four strikeouts.

"Kenny Roberts really stepped up. He matched up with their starter who game into this game with an ERA of less than one. Their whole pitching staff has done a great job and it will be tough tomorrow. Jordan Alvis will have to step up tomorrow because that is the strength of their club right now, pitching and defense," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Freshman Bryce Brentz received his first save of the season as he came to the mound from left field in the eighth inning. Brentz allowed no runs on no hits and struck out one in his two innings of work.

At the plate the Blue Raiders (9-4-1, 2-1 SBC) were led by freshman Tyler Burnett who ended the day 3 for 4 with one RBI.

"Congratulations to my ball club. They responded to a tight, pressure pack ball game. It was a really good baseball game played by Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State," Peterson said. "I didn't need a game like this but my team did. We needed to play clutch, get timely plays, timely hitting and timely pitching. This team need to come out and play a good solid game like this because we have not done it all year."

Brentz also performed well at the plate as he was 2 for 4 with a triple and scored one run. Senior Zach Barrett was the only other Blue Raider to put up multiple hits as he ended the day 2 for 4.

As a team, Middle Tennessee scored two runs on 10 hits with one double and one triple. Defensively, the Blue Raiders had just one error and were led by junior Rawley Bishop with 17 putouts. Barrett had a team high seven assists on the day.

Jacob Maggard received the loss for the Indians (11-6, 4-1 SBC) as he allowed two runs on nine hits. As a team, Arkansas State recorded six hits but scored just one run while leaving six on base.

Arkansas State put the first run of the game on the board in the bottom of the fourth after a single by Joey Hoffman. Hoffman's hit scored Ryan Hudgins, who doubled to reach base, and then Middle Tennessee threw Hoffman out at first to get its second out of the inning, 1-0 Indians.

Burnett hit a line drive to the pitcher which counted for a hit to tie the game at one apiece. Burnett's hit drove in Brentz from third, who tripled in the previous at bat.

Junior Zach Dean who was picked off twice on Friday somewhat made up for his mistakes with an RBI double to score junior Rawley Bishop from first and give the Blue Raiders a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth.

Dean ended the day 1 for 4 with one RBI while Bishop went 1 for 4 and scored one run.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Sunday, March 16 when it looks to take the series against Arkansas State at 1 p.m.

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