Blue Raiders advance to Championship Game

Take 6-2 win over Ragin' Cajuns to advance

May 23, 2009 · MT Athletic
TROY, Ala. - The Blue Raiders had not been able to beat UL-Lafayette in four tries but the tide has turned and the team has won the last two meetings winning Saturday's game 6-2 to advance to the championship game of the Sun Belt Championships.

Middle Tennessee has now won three straight elimination games and tied the school record for wins in a season picking up its 42nd win. The Blue Raiders are now 42-16 on the season which ties the record set by the 1990 team who ended the season 42-15.

The Blue Raiders had 10 hits on the day with sophomore Bryce Brentz leading the way with three. Brentz ended the day 3 for 4 with a double, one RBI and scored a run. Brentz also made his first appearance on the mound in the tournament. Brentz worked two innings allowing no runs and one hit.

Middle Tennessee also had a great day on the mound holding the Ragin' Cajuns to just four hits. Senior Chad Coley received the start allowing two runs on one hit in 2.1 innings of work.

The Blue Raider bullpen, senior Brett Smalley, sophomore Jud Stoltz, Brentz and freshman Justin Guidry, worked 6.2 innings allowing no runs and just three hits. Guidry improved to 4-2 on the season after picking up the win with his one hit in two innings of work performance.

"It was a gutsy, gutsy performance. I started with Chad Coley because he was our freshest arm. I know Chad like a book and he didn't do anything I didn't expect him to. He set the bar and then we brought in Jud. Every mistake Lafayette made we took advantage of and it was a great team effort," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Juniors Drew Robertson and Stuart Meinhart added assistance to the offense as each notched two hits and Meinhart drove in two runs.

Brentz singled to the shortstop and pulled out an infield hit allowing Hines to score putting the Blue Raiders on top to begin the game. Box grounded out which brought in another run and then Brentz scored on a passed ball by the catcher making it 3-0. The Blue Raiders scored three runs on two hits in the inning for the early lead.

In the second, Meinhart had a two-RBI single in the second to increase the Blue Raider lead to five.

The Ragin' Cajuns put two runs on the board in the third after receiving a base on balls with the bases loaded and a sacrifice fly to close the gap to three, 5-2.

Burnett singled up the middle in the bottom of the third to drive in McDade from third extending the lead to four.

The Blue Raiders will play the winner of ULM and Western Kentucky in the championship game of the Sun Belt Championships at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 24.

Middle Tennessee will watch the NCAA Selection show at Coach's Grill on Monday, May 25. The selection show will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the team will meet at Coach's Grill at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend and see where the Blue Raiders will go in the NCAA tournament.

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