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Barrett Home Run Gives MT 7-6 Win

Blue Raider bull pen solid in win over Indians

March 16, 2008 · MT Media Relations
JONESBORO, Ark. - Senior Zach Barrett hit a solo home run down the left field line with one out in the top of the 10th inning to clinch a 7-6 win for Middle Tennessee over Arkansas State and the series.

Barrett's third home run of the season gave Middle Tennessee (10-4-1, 3-2 SBC) its first lead in its first extra inning on Sunday. Barrett ended the day 3 for 6 with two RBI and scored two runs.

"Zach is swinging the bat well. He has learned how to become a better and better hitter and works on it," head coach Steve Peterson said. "It was a huge win for the ball club. We used a lot of players and it was just a big, big win for us. When Zach Dean got in the line-up our line-up got going. I thought our hitters at times had tense bats. Blake's sacrifice fly, he went up there with the idea to hit the first opportunity he had and get the run in."

On the mound, junior Jordan Alvis pitched four innings allowing five runs on six hits in the start

"It was a great comeback. I have got to tip my hat to the pitching staff. Five runs in the first inning but then Jordan settled down and got through four innings. The bull pen came in and didn't look great at times but pitched very well," Peterson said.

Junior Brett Smalley took the win over the Indians (11-7, 4-2 SBC)as he pitched two and a third innings in relief allowing no runs or hits with three strikeouts. Smalley struck out the last batter for Arkansas State to seal the deal for the Blue Raiders.

"In this ball game when I went to the pen I didn't have time to let them get a feel for the game. They had to come in, show me what you and be right but I didn't want to take a chance on losing momentum. Smalley was the guy. He came in, he was going after it and he was not going to make the mistake of what happened to their pitcher leaving a slider over the plate for Barrett to hit out. It was a great outing for him," Peterson said.

On the mound, Middle Tennessee used five pitchers and allowed just three hits and one run after Alvis left the game.

Freshman Bryce Brentz also guided the Blue Raiders at the plate as he went 2 for 4 with two RBI, one home run and scored a run. Junior Nathan Hines, who's hitting streak ended on Saturday, added assistance as he went 3 for 6 scoring one run with a double.

Junior Zach Dean entered the game in relief and ended the day 2 for 2 with two RBI and a double.

As a team, Middle Tennessee posted 12 hits as four Blue Raiders had multiple hit games on Sunday.

Arkansas State's Derrick Coleman hit a home run to center field on Alvis' first pitch of the game to take an early 1-0 lead. The Indians added another run on a sacrifice fly to right field by Guy Brown which scored Ryan Hudgins from third base. Drew Benes singled to right field to drive in two more runs and Lawson Hipps added one more with his single to left field to bring in Benes from second, 5-0 ASU.

Brentz hit a home run to right field on the first pitch he saw in the top of the second inning. Sophomore Blake McDade, who received a base on balls to reach base, scored on a fielder's choice by the short stop on a hit by Barrett to cut the Indians lead to three, 5-2.

The Blue Raiders cut the lead to one, 5-4 in the top of the seventh on a double by Dean. Dean's hit, who pinch hit for junior Rawley Bishop, brought in Barrett and Hines from first and second.

Arkansas State ended its scoring drought as Eller doubled in the bottom of the eighth to bring in Coleman, who reached on an error by junior Joe Craddock at second base 6-4 ASU.

Middle Tennessee responded in the top of the ninth as Craddock scored from third on a single to centerfield by Brentz. The Blue Raiders then tied the game, 6-6, on a sacrifice fly to left field by McDade. McDade's fly ball scored sophomore Zach Hudson, who was a pinch runner for Dean who singled.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Wednesday, March 19 when it travels to Clarksville, Tenn., to play Austin Peay at 6 p.m.

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