2009 Blue Raiders one of the best teams in history

Championship team broke 11 records

June 3, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The 2009 Middle Tennessee baseball team will be remembered as one of the best in Blue Raider history after their memorable season.

The Blue Raiders won both the Sun Belt regular season and tournament titles in 2009 for the first time since joining the league in 2001.

Middle Tennessee earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after rallying from the loser's bracket to win the SBC tournament and make its first NCAA appearance since 2004. The Blue Raiders were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Louisville Regional - the highest seed in program history.

"It was a great year. We met every goal I set out for them and that was to win a league championship, tournament championship and go to a regional. What we have not achieved is winning a regional and going to a super regional but I think we are getting closer and closer," head coach Steve Peterson said. "This season's records and everything they did, this team set it where they are the greatest team to have ever played baseball at Middle Tennessee State University."

In addition to winning two championships the Blue Raiders rewrote the record books setting a number of team records including hits, batting average, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, wins and double plays.

The Blue Raiders broke the wins record with their victory over ULM in the SBC tournament championship game to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. Middle Tennessee ended the 2009 season 44-18 and 21-8 in Sun Belt play.

Senior Rawley Bishop ended his stellar career with six career records to his name. Bishop set the career mark in runs, home runs, RBI, total bases, walks, hit by pitch and putouts during his senior campaign. Bishop ranks in the Top-10 in seven other career categories.

"He is the epitome of a college athlete. He is a very good student who is going to graduate and could have signed professionally if he had advertised it last year. He said unless you give me a ton of money I would rather stay at Middle Tennessee and win a championship and play in a new stadium," head coach Steve Peterson said. "I would imagine he will get his shot to play pro ball and he will have played on a team that won a championship and has set the mark for teams to come."

Sophomore Bryce Brentz had an unbelievable season batting .465 with 28 home runs and 73 RBI. Brentz set six single-season records including batting average, hits, runs, home runs, total bases and slugging percentage on his way to being named Sun Belt Player of the Year.

Brentz was also named Louisville Slugger First Team All-America and a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes award. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has been invited to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials to be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., June 15-24.

Senior Nathan Hines and junior Coty Woods also made their marks during the 2009 season. Hines set the single-season and career mark for doubles and ranks Top-10 in nine categories on his way to second team All-Sun Belt and All-Tournament honors. Woods set the single-season record for saves with 15 and tied for first in appearances with 32 as he was named first team All-Sun Belt.

The Blue Raiders opened their renovated stadium in 2009 and performed very well on the home front posting a 27-4 record which included a shutout win over Vanderbilt, a sweep of 2008 champion ULM and a sweep over 2009 Missouri Valley Champion Missouri State.

Blue Raider Camps The Middle Tennessee baseball program will play host to three camps during the summer:

Pitcher/Catcher Camp - June 7-9 (Day and Overnight; Ages 13- High School Senior)

Hitting Camp - June 9-11 (Day and Overnight; Ages 13- High School Senior)

Day Camp 15-18 (Ages 7-12 Only)

For more information on Blue Raider Baseball Camps call (615) 898-2961 or (615) 898-2450 or visit goblueraiders.com.

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