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Blue Raiders fall in series opener 9-1

Meinhart leads offense with three hits

April 2, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Senior Stuart Meinhart guided the Blue Raider offense in a 9-1 loss to Florida Atlantic on Friday night.

Meinhart ended the night 3 for 4 as the Blue Raiders had nine hits in the game. Sophomore Justin Guidry drove in the only Middle Tennessee run with his only hit in the game.

Junior Tyler Burnett scored the run for the Blue Raiders and ended the night 2 for 5. Middle Tennessee left nine runners on base while Florida Atlantic left 10 but the timely hitting guided the Owls throughout the night.

"Their starting pitcher, Garton, he really dominated us especially in clutch situations. He really dominated our guys who have been swinging it really good. He threw the breaking ball behind the count, ahead of the count and had good pop on his fastball. We just didn't match-up on the mound. When it got 5-1 you could see we were running out of time to scratch and get runs. In the middle innings he threw really, really well," head coach Steve Peterson said.

Senior Kenneth Roberts took the loss after allowing eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work. Senior Tyler Hyde was the only Blue Raider reliever in the game. Hyde worked 2.1 innings allowing one run on four hits.

"The difference of Kenny right now and what we saw last year is he is just making mistakes. There is no difference in his velocity or the way he is trying to pitch. He is just making mistakes and one bad pitch leads to another. He has never been a shutout guy but when he is one he gets a lot of groundballs. They hit some hard groundballs to the left side, it wasn't like they had eyes but they were squared up pretty good," Peterson said.

The Blue Raiders have now lost all but one of their Friday night games in Sun Belt Conference action and are 5-5 in league play.

FAU's Ryan Garton received the win after allowing just one run and nine hits in eight innings of work. Garton essentially shut down the Blue Raider offense striking out 10 batters and walking just one.

FAU had 13 hits on the night as a team led by Colby Gratton who went 4 for 5 with a double, triple, three RBI and scored a run.

Guidry's RBI single to right center put Middle Tennessee on the board, 1-0, in the first inning.

With Mesa at third and Albaladejo at first with one out Mee hit a sacrifice fly to right field knotting the score at 1 in the third.

FAU took a 2-1 lead after a double down the left field line by Delguidice. With the bases loaded, Church hit a single to left which was misplayed by Skinner allowing all three runners to score. The Owls took a 5-1 lead at the end of the fourth inning after scoring four runs on four hits.

Roberts allowed the Owls to load the bases in the sixth on two walks and a hit batter. Hyde entered the game needing one out but Gratton hit a triple to centerfield bringing in all runners and extending the lead, 8-1.

Middle Tennessee will play the second game of the series at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 3.

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