Blue Raiders win 14-6 slugfest

Burnett, Guidry and Lawrence each homer

February 28, 2010 · Athletic Communications
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - After only knocking out one home run in the first four games of the season, the Middle Tennessee baseball team sent three out of the park in a 14-6 victory over the Ohio Bobcats.

The win sealed a three-game sweep of the Bobcats and secured the first series win of the season for the Blue Raiders.

Tyler Burnett and Justin Guidry once again starred for Middle Tennessee in an offensive showcase. Burnett went 2-5 at the plate with a walk and a pair of RBIs, but he slugged out the first home run of the season at Reese Smith Jr. Field with a two-run blast in the fifth. Guidry, who went 3-5 at the plate, followed up with a homer in the very next at bat.

Robert Lawrence, who sat out last season with a redshirt, also recorded a homer in his second career at bat for the Blue Raiders. The outburst saw contributions from both the starting line-up and the bench as ten players recorded hits on the day and five drove in at least two runs.

Junior Eric Gilley made his first career start as a Blue Raider and despite allowing four walks and seven hits, showed a penchant for getting out of jams. He only gave up one earned run on the day in five innings.

Joey McClung and Brandon Hall each made their first career appearance for the Blue Raiders while both Jud Stoltz and Marshall Mears made their first appearance of the season.

"In a game like this, you get to play a lot of people," said Coach Steve Peterson. "It's good to get those guys in because they'll be needed later in the season."

For the first time in the series, the Bobcats struck first. Bryan Barnes doubled down the right field line to open up the game. An error by Ford allowed Barnes to advance to third, and a Jerod Yakubik single scored the run.

Middle Tennessee took the lead in the third. Burnett started off the frame with a walk. The Murfreesboro native stole second, and Guidry singled to bring him home for the tying score. Bryce Brentz followed up with a double. McDade singled to right field to score Guidry with what would prove to be the game-winning RBI, and when the Ohio right fielder Robert Maddox overthrew the cut-off man it allowed Brentz to score and McDade to advance to second. A Jones single moved McDade to third, and a Skinner fly ball plated McDade. Miller doubled to left field to chase Ohio pitcher Bores. Acker grounded out to score Jones. Miller moved to third on a wild pitch, and Ford drew a walk. A second wild pitch allowed Miller to score the sixth run of the inning.

Ohio tacked on another run in the top of the fourth, but the inning was defined more by the inability to score. The Bobcats earned three walks and recorded a hit in the frame, but after Gauntlett Eldemire earned a two-out bases loaded walk, Gilley managed to get out of the inning allowing only a single run.

Middle Tennessee would put up another pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Guidry dropped down a bunt for a single, and Brentz earned a walk to open up the frame. McDade doubled to center to score Guidry. Skinner would fly out later in the inning to score Brentz and put the Blue Raiders up 8-2.

The Blue Raiders started off the fifth inning with a bang. After a Ford walk, Tyler Burnett slugged his first home run of the season over the right field wall. Not to be outdone, Guidry homered in the next at bat to increase the deficit to 11-2.

Joey McClung came in for Gilley at the start of the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases for Eldemire, who hit into a double play but plated a run for the Bobcats.

Ohio struck again in the top of the eighth for three runs. A Seth Streich triple opened up the inning, followed by C.J. Maszal earning a walk and Barnes getting hit by a pitch. Eldemire once again faced a bases-loaded situation and singled through the right side to score Streich. Following a pitching change, Yakubik singled and Maddox hit into a double play, each knocking in a run.

Middle Tennessee answered with a three-run inning in the bottom half. Dalton Henzman earned his first career hit with a double to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. A Skinner single brought Henzman home, and Zach Hudson came in to pinch run. After were recorded by Miller and Acker, Robert Lawrence unleashed a powerful two-run shot over the left field wall.

The Blue Raiders outhit the Bobcats 17-12 on the day. Both teams combined to leave 21 runners stranded on the base paths. Middle Tennessee also converted on four double plays.

Middle Tennessee will look to extend their three-game win streak on Tuesday when they travel to Carbondale, Ill. for a two-game series vs. Southern Illinois. Due to the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Championships and travel plans for the week, Middle Tennessee's games with Southern Illinois and Jacksonville State will not be broadcast on the Blue Raider Network.

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