Record Nine Homers Power Raiders to 19-7 Triumph

April 20, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee hit a school-record nine home runs, including six in the sixth inning, defeating Memphis, 19-7, Wednesday afternoon at Reese Smith Field.

The Blue Raiders (18-15) trailed 7-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth before exploding for 11 runs on eight hits to break open the game, sweep the two games in Murfreesboro and win all three meetings this season against the Tigers.

Jimmy Kelly (1-2), the third of four Middle Tennessee hurlers, picked up the victory with 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits with a strikeout. Tommy Sterritt also pitched well, going 3.2 innings and giving up one run on two hits with two strikeouts.

Eric McNamee led the 19-hit attack for the Blue Raiders, going 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Todd Martin had three hits and three RBIs and Marcus Taylor drove in four runs and scored twice.

K.K. Chalmers (0-1) took the loss for the Tigers, giving up five home runs in two-thirds of an inning.

The Blue Raiders got off to a good start with a pair of doubles in the first inning, the second a run-scoring shot into the rightfield corner by Martin.

But the Tigers (9-26) came back with six runs in the second to take the lead.

With two outs and no one on, Jordan Tolliver singled and John Peterson walked. Patrick Hope scored a run with a double down the leftfield line before a two-run single from Eric Smith. Chris Newsom then singled home a run and Chad House was hit before a two-run triple to left by Ryan Martin.

Middle Tennessee cut into the lead in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff walk by Chase Eakes and a two-run homer to right from Taylor, his fourth of the season.

Nathan Hines scored in the third for the Raiders on a fielder's choice, cutting the deficit to 6-4.

The Tigers added a run in the fourth when Hope and Smith both singled and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Newsom. A little blooper in short centerfield off the bat of House was caught by shortstop Jeff Beachum, but Hope beat the throw to the plate for a 7-4 UM edge.

The Raiders added a run in the bottom of the inning when McNamee and Nate Jaggers both doubled, cutting the Memphis lead back to two runs.

Beachum led off the 11-run sixth inning with a single up the middle before Jaggers belted his second home run in two days and ninth of the season to tie the contest at seven.

Martin then gave the Blue Raiders the lead with a solo shot to centerfield. Eakes walked and with two outs, pinch-hitter Adam Darby belted a two-run shot to rightcenter for an 11-8 lead.

Josh Archer added a solo homer before McNamee made it back-to-back-to-back homers with his own solo homer, just clearing the rightfield wall. Martin later singled home another run before Hines added his second three-run homer of the series, capping the inning for a 16-7 advantage.

Sophomore Tommy Decker led off the seventh with his first collegiate hit, a solo homer to leftfield. Pinch-hitter Josh Horn drove home another run with a sacrifice fly.

Taylor belted his second homer of the game in the eighth for the final margin.

Middle Tennessee starter Aaron Wallus lasted just two innings, allowing six runs on five hits. Memphis starter Drew Kimmelman worked into the third, giving up four runs on five hits, with Chris Davis coming on in relief to allow one run in 2.2 innings.

Middle Tennessee continues its current six-game homestand with a three-game Sun Belt series this weekend against South Alabama, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Reese Smith Field.

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