Blue Raiders lose heartbreaker to Vols 5-4

Brentz guides team at plate; Bishop hits 10th homer to force extra innings

May 12, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Despite a ninth inning rally to tie the game at 4 the Blue Raiders fell 5-4 to Tennessee in 11 innings in front of 2,215, a record crowd, on Tuesday night.

Middle Tennessee (36-15) had many opportunities in the game outhitting the Vols (23-29) 12-8 but left 16 runners on base.

"We had so many opportunities but I think we just got beat. Our hitters just got beat and I have to tip my hat to Morgado. We could not catch up with his fastball and then couldn't get the sacrifice bunt," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Senior Rawley Bishop it a solo shot to left center in the ninth to force extra innings and Tennessee took the win after a solo home run by Cody Hawn in the 11th.

Middle Tennessee did not have a big inning on Tuesday as it had every game during the weekend as it scored one run in the first, fifth, seventh and ninth. Tennessee took a 4-1 lead in the game after scoring three runs in the third.

Sophomore Bryce Brentz led the team throughout the night at the plate going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a home run, two RBI and scored two runs. Bishop and junior Stuart Meinhart added assistance at the plate as each had two hits.

Middle Tennessee used eight pitchers in the game with junior Coty Woods (3-2) taking the loss as he gave up the winning run. Woods worked 2.2 innings in relief allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts.

Freshman Brett Wilson started the game on the mound working 2.2 innings allowing four runs on two hits while sophomore Nick Montgomery had the next longest outing as he allowed no runs on two hits in 2.1 innings of relief.

"I am very proud of the way the bullpen performed because they have been struggling and I have been hard on them. So that is a good sign headed into the Western series," Peterson said.

Tennessee had just eight hits in the game leaving 13 runners on base with Hawn leading the way as he was 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Bryan Morgado took the win on the mound after allowing just one hit in 2.1 innings of work with four strikeouts and struck out the last batter he faced.

Middle Tennessee will round out the regular season this weekend as it plays host to rival Western Kentucky in a match-up that will decide the Sun Belt Conference champion. The first game of the series will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 14.

Friday's game will start at 6 p.m. while the Blue Raiders will honor their seniors before the first pitch at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. All game this weekend will be broadcast on WMTS 88.3 in Murfreesboro and on the internet through goblueraiders.com.

"We should have a good crowd this weekend. The series with Western is a family feud and we are battling for the conference title. Western has a heck of a team as do we and I think it will be games just like tonight this weekend," Peterson said.

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