Historic night as Blue Raiders defeat Delta Devils

Brentz, Woods each set single-season records

May 8, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Sophomore Bryce Brentz stole the show on Friday night as he hit three home runs to help guide the Blue Raiders to a 14-8 win over Mississippi Valley State.

Brentz hit a solo shot to left in the fifth to tie the single-season record and then in his next at bat hit a solo shot to left field breaking the single-season home run record. Brentz ended the night 4 for 5 with three home runs.

Josh Pride formerly held the single-season at 22 home runs setting the mark in 1999 while it was the first time since senior Rawley Bishop did it in 2007 that a Blue Raider hit three home runs in a game. It was also the first time since defeating Vanderbilt on April 7 that a Middle Tennessee player had hit home runs in consecutive at bats.

"It was great to break the record and really just a relief to get it over with. I had been sitting on it for a couple of weeks and have been struggling some at the plate," Brentz said. "Rawley gave me some good advice and said just see it and hit so that is what I tried to do today."

The history making did not end there as junior Coty Woods broke the single-season saves record recording his 12th of the season. Chase Swing set the previous saves record in 2003 at 11. Woods worked 1.1 innings allowing one hit with two strikeouts after entering the game with runners at first and second making it a save situation.

"Tonight was a great team effort and I am glad Coty and I got to set our records on the same night. I didn't realize he was in line for the save until he told me when he was going to the mound and I just told him to go get the job done. It is really special for each of us to set records in the same game," Brentz said.

The Blue Raiders (34-14) had 17 hits on the night with six home runs, the most since defeating Arkansas-Little Rock in 2008. Senior Taylor Dennis and sophomore Tyler Burnett each had three hits on the night with Burnett guiding the team in the leadoff spot with five RBI and two home runs.

"I always say we live by the bat and we did that tonight. We had a poor defensive game and average pitching. The bullpen was very poor tonight, we never should have needed Coty in this game," head coach Steve Peterson said. "I have to say congratulations to Coty and Bryce for setting single-season records. It was an historic day and I always say home runs come in bunches and that was definitely true tonight."

Junior Kenneth Roberts picked up his seventh win after allowing six runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in seven innings of work.

The Blue Raiders trailed 3-1 in the fourth when Brentz hit the first home run of the game to cut the MVSU lead to one. Then Middle Tennessee scored five runs on five hits, including a two-run shot by Burnett to take the lead 6-3.

Middle Tennessee never looked back in the game and had another big inning in the seventh scoring three runs on two hits which included a home run by senior Grant Box as he pinch hit.

The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. for the second game of the series with MVSU. Saturday's game it Optimist Little League and Winchester Little League Day. Agee's Sporting Goods has donated all game balls for the day so any ball hit into the stands will be a souvenir.

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