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Blue Raiders drop 19-13 decision to Austin Peay

McDade guides offense going 4 for 4

April 7, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee battled on Wednesday night but was unable to overcome two big innings by Austin Peay in a 19-13 loss.

The Governors scored 12 runs in two innings to take a 13-5 lead and never looked back recording 22 total hits in the game.

Middle Tennessee notched 17 hits guided by senior Blake McDade who went 4 for 4 with two doubles and scored three runs. Senior Zach Hudson hit a two run home run during a four-run rally in the fifth inning. Hudson ended the game 2 for 4 with two RBI and scored four runs.

"The Governors did a really good job of being tough to strikeout and putting the ball in play. They fouled off pitch after pitch and getting a pitch to hit. Early in the game we were behind on the counts a lot. It is the same thing with our young guys in that they are unable to get command of the strike zone," head coach Steve Peterson said. "With our pitching staff they are going to get opportunities as long as they are healthy. They may not stay out there very long but they will get their chances."

Junior Tyler Acker and sophomore Justin Guidry aided the offense with three hits of their own. Acker had a double, drove in a run and scored a run while Guidry hit a home run and drove in five runs.

"The bright spot is that we swung the bat well but the bad spot is pitching and defense. If we make a few plays in the outfield they score less runs and it's a little bit different. We struggled on balls that should have been played a little better," Peterson said. "When you make a mistake in the outfield it can turn into a big inning. Our pitching staff is not a strikeout staff so if we give away an out we pay for it."

On the mound, junior Nick Montgomery took the loss as he entered the game in relief in the third inning. He allowed five runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning of work.

Middle Tennessee used eight pitchers in the game with starter freshman Daniel Palo recording the longest outing. Palo worked 2.1 innings allowing three runs on three hits.

Senior Kevin Whittaker and junior Hunter Dawson each worked one scoreless inning allowing just one hit between them.

The Govs used seven pitchers during the game with reliever Ricky Marshall taking the win. Marshall allowed one run on two hits in his one inning of work.

It is the first time since 1997 the Blue Raiders have lost a series to Austin Peay, that season the team went 1-2 and lost to the Govs in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. It is also the first time since 1974, the first year complete and official records are available, that the Blue Raiders have not posted at least one win against Austin Peay.

Austin Peay scored first but the Blue Raiders made the bigger statement after a home run to right field by Guidry put them ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the first.

A two-out double to right by Burnett added another run in the second.

Austin Peay tied the game at 4 after a two RBI triple by Hudson in the top of the third. The Govs took a two run lead after scoring five runs on five hits in the inning.

The Govs followed that up by scoring seven run on six hits in the fourth jumping out to an eight run lead, 13-5.

Middle Tennessee closed it to one, 6-5, but a three-run shot to right by Kole extended the Austin Peay lead to four, 9-5.

An infield hit by Burnett scored two runs and then Hudson hit a two-run shot to right field closing the Austin Peay gap to seven, 15-9.

The Blue Raiders will play host to Florida International in a three-game conference series this weekend. Friday and Saturday's games are slated for 6 p.m. with Sunday's game set to begin at noon.

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