Anderson's Shutout Work Pivotal in 11-9 Victory

February 26, 2005 · MT Media Relations
DOTHAN, Ala. - Middle Tennessee's Josh Anderson tossed 3.2 scoreless innings and the Blue Raiders pounded out 15 hits in an 11-9 victory over Iowa during the second day of action at the 2005 ScreenTech Wiregrass Baseball Classic Saturday.

Anderson, who had faced two batters in his collegiate career before Saturday, allowed three hits and struck out three in picking up his first collegiate win. Eric McNamee had three hits, as five Blue Raiders recorded multiple hits in see-saw affair.

Middle Tennessee (2-2) erased a four-run deficit with five runs in the fifth, only to have Iowa tie the score in the next half-inning. But Chase Eakes gave the Blue Raiders the lead for good with an RBI single in the sixth before an unearned run was added in the eighth.

Anderson was the third Blue Raider pitcher of the day, as starter Matt Scott worked just 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs, five earned, on eight hits. Jeff Kasser tossed three-plus innings of relief, giving up two runs on five hits, before giving way to Anderson.

"I was trying to work ahead with my fastball and make [Iowa] put something in play," Anderson said. "I came in and got out of an inning and then settled down and tried to keep working ahead."

Aaron Reasland (0-1), the third of four Iowa (0-2) hurlers, suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in two-plus innings.

Both teams scored multiple runs in the first inning, but in completely different ways.

Iowa blooped in a leadoff single from L.J. Mims, who went to second on a passed ball. Mims scored on a groundball error off the bat of Andy Lytle. Lytle stole second and scored on a two-out single to right from Kris Welker.

The Blue Raiders came back with three runs in their half of the inning on three hits, with Nathan Hines and Jeff Beachum both connecting for one-out singles. Marcus Taylor's slicing double down the leftfield line scored Hines, and Beachum was plated on a sacrifice fly from Nate Jaggers. Taylor eventually scored on a balk for a 3-2 Middle Tennessee advantage after one inning.

The Hawkeyes came right back in the second with three straight one-out singles, but Scott looked to be getting out of the inning with a pop-up and working ahead 1-2 to Nate Price. But the freshman tomahawked a high fastball over the rightfield wall for a grand slam and his first collegiate hit, giving Iowa a 6-3 lead.

The Blue Raiders cut into the lead with a run in their half of the second thanks to a two-out double to dead centerfield by McNamee and a run-scoring single from Beachum.

Iowa added another run in the third when Welker singled to leadoff and scored on a two-out infield single from Mims.

The Hawkeyes threatened to add to the lead in the fifth, loading the bases on two walks and a single, but Kasser was able to work out of the jam with a grounder.

Middle Tennessee took the lead with five runs in the fifth inning on six hits, highlighted by a two-run double from Jaggers. A flare down the rightfield line from Eakes plated Jaggers, and Alex Watson's double to rightcenter plated Eakes. A single up the middle by McNamee scored Watson for a 9-7 lead.

Iowa came right back in the top of the sixth, collecting three straight singles to start the inning. A wild pitch tied the game before a groundout scored another run to tie the score at nine.

Three consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth by the Blue Raiders plated a run, with Todd Martin, Jaggers and Eakes all reaching safely, with Martin scoring on a chopper through the leftside by Eakes for a 10-9 lead.

Taylor and Martin both walked to start the eighth, and a hot-shot by Eakes went off the third baseman's glove and into leftfield, allowing pinch-runner Doug Birkofer to score the final run of the contest.

The Blue Raiders play the final game of the tournament Sunday at 2 p.m. against host Troy, weather permitting.

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