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Blue Raiders Take 7-3 Win

Hines hits home run to lead off game

April 11, 2008 · MT Media Relations
MIAMI - Middle Tennessee jumped out to an early lead against Florida International and never looked back taking a 7-3 win on Friday night.

Junior Nathan Hines started the game with a leadoff home run as the Blue Raiders (16-14-1, 7-8) never looked back scoring in the first three innings to take a 5-2 lead. The last time the Middle Tennessee hit a home run to begin the game was in 2001 when Josh Renick hit one out against Cumberland.

FIU (12-24, 5-8) committed five errors in the game allowing three unearned runs to score which helped Middle Tennessee who left 11 runners on base.

Middle Tennessee had two errors late in the game but defensively performed very well turning four double plays and throwing one runner out at third.

"I am very proud we hung in there and turned some big double plays. What a great way to end the ball game by getting a 4-6-3 and the double plays we have been turning have been great. Taylor and our two short stops work well together and I am very confident in them," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Sophomore Kenneth Roberts took the win on the mound as he allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of work. Roberts improved to 4-2 on the season with the win.

"I thought Kenny looked good. He stepped out and had good stuff then all of a sudden he's outside on his breaking ball and it affects his fastball but he worked through it. I was really hoping I could get seven out of him but Kenny did a good job on a night that you make too many mistakes and the ball will fly out," Peterson said.

Sophomore Chad Edwards, junior Chad Coley and senior Langdon Stanley pitched a combined two shutout innings allowing just one hit. Stanley also picked up his second save of the season as he entered the game with runners at first and third with two outs.

At the plate the Blue Raiders were led by sophomore Blake McDade who ended the night 3 for 5 with one RBI.

As a team, Middle Tennessee posted 12 hits as Hines and senior Zach Barrett each added two hits of their own.

Hines began the game for the Blue Raiders with a leadoff home run giving Middle Tennessee a quick 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Towsend hit a two-run shot to left field with two outs to put the Golden Panthers up 2-1.

The Blue Raiders added three runs in the second beginning with Hudson who reached on an error and ended with Burnett scoring on wild pitch. FIU committed three errors in the inning as Middle Tennessee took a 4-2 lead.

Middle Tennessee put two more runs on the board in the top of the third on four hits to pad its lead 6-2.

FIU's Mollica doubled in the bottom of the fourth which scored a run from third to cut the Blue Raider lead to three.

Barrett scored from third on a fielder's choice by Bishop in the top of the sixth to make it a four run game.

Middle Tennessee will face FIU in game two of the three-game series at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12.

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