Baseball Comes from Behind for 12-11 VictoryMarch 16, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Martin's RBI single capped a five-run rally by the Blue Raiders, who trailed 5-0 early in the game and 10-5 in the seventh. Middle Tennessee (6-8) scored four times in the fourth to cut into the lead, then tallied four more runs in the bottom of the seventh to get within a run again.
Wayne Kendrick's RBI groundout in the eighth tied the score at 10, but UT Martin answered with a run in the ninth on an RBI single from Douglas Nicodemus. Middle Tennessee's tied the game at 11 in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Alex Watson, setting up Martin's heroics in the 10th inning.
Allan Woodward (1-1), the last of six Middle Tennessee hurlers, got the win, giving up a run on one hit in two innings of work, striking out two. Micky Dobson (1-1) took the loss for UT Martin, allowing three runs on seven hits in three-plus innings.
"It's very nice to be able to get to someone's bullpen because everybody gets to our bullpen," head coach Steve Peterson said. "From the fourth inning on, [UT Martin] got us out one time. We kept putting numbers up and scoring constantly. Wins are precious right now and we'll take it. It sure feels better to win a ballgame than to lose one. I'd rather win an ugly game than lose anytime."
Adam Warren, Jeff Beachum, Michael McKenry and Martin all had three hits in Middle Tennessee's 20-hit attack, while Marcus Taylor had a grand slam and McKenry and Martin both drove in a pair of runs. Warren, McKenry, Martin and Chase Eakes all scored twice.
The bottom of the UT Martin (5-13) order played havoc with the Middle Tennessee pitching staff, combining for eight hits, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored in the bottom four spots. Jason Hockaday had three hits and scored four times, Blake Turner drove in four runs and Nicodemus added three hits and five RBIs. Nick Luper also scored four times for the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks scored three times in the second, starting with a one-out single from Hockaday. Luper then drew a walk before Blake Turner battled through an eight-pitch at-bat against Blue Raider starter Shay Horseman. Turner barely missed a home run down the leftfield line but got the ball up into the wind on pitch No. 8 and the wind did the rest, carrying it over the rightfield wall for a 3-0 UTM lead.
The visitors added to the lead in the fourth with three more hits, ending Horseman's day. Hockaday singled and Luper walked again before a sacrifice bunt from Turner. A single through the middle from Nicodemus plated both runners for a 5-0 UT Martin advantage.
Middle Tennessee got back in the game in the bottom of the inning when Beachum and McKenry both singled and Watson walked to load the bases. Taylor then lifted a high fly ball into the wind and it too left the ballpark for a grand slam, cutting the deficit to 5-4.
UTM added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth after Kevin Holt was hit to leadoff and Hockaday reached when Beachum's throw to second was wild on a fielder's choice. A sacrifice from Luper moved both runners, Holt scored on a sacrifice fly and Hockaday came home on a double by Nicodemus for a 7-4 Skyhawks lead.
Martin's solo homer in the sixth cut the UTM lead to two and ended UTM starter Ryan Rockholt's day.
The Skyhawks scored three times in the seventh with two hits and the aid of a pair of balks. Hockaday's third hit of the day started the inning and the Blue Raiders brought on Chad Coley, who balked Hockaday to second. Luper singled and Turner walked to load the bases before Coley balked again, scoring Hockaday. A sacrifice fly from Nicodemus plated Luper and Chad Green's groundout scored Turner for a 10-5 UTM lead.
Middle Tennessee climbed back into the game with four runs in the seventh, starting with a leadoff single from Josh Horn. Pinch-hitter Warren tripled just inside the rightfield line, scoring a run, and Kendrick's single through the leftside plated Warren. Beachum followed with a single and McKenry's double off the base of the leftfield wall scored two runs, cutting the deficit to 10-9.
The Blue Raiders knotted the game in the eighth when Eakes singled with one out, Warren doubled down the leftfield line and Kendrick's grounder scored Eakes, tying the game at 10.
But the Skyhawks retook the lead in the top of the ninth after a one-out walk to Luper. A groundout moved the runner to second and Luper scored on a single to center from Nicodemus.
Middle Tennessee tied the contest again in the bottom of the ninth after a leadoff single from McKenry and a single from Martin, putting runners on the corners. A lineout to left from Watson gave McKenry a chance to score, and he did when UTM catcher Chris Rezebak dropped the throw, tying the score at 11. Horn singled with two outs, but Eakes' fly ball was caught at the wall by rightfielder Luper, sending the game to extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th Warren singled to leadoff, moved to second on a sacrifice by Kendrick and third on a flyout from Beachum. McKenry was intentionally walked to put the lefthander Dobson against the lefty Martin. Martin took very close pitches at 1-2 and 2-2 in the count before lacing the single to left with a full count, ending the three-hour, 32-minute affair in front of 916.
The Blue Raiders open a three-game series at Birmingham Southern on Friday at 6 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday games will be broadcast on the Blue Raider network on 88.3 FM WMTS in Murfreesboro, with Saturday's game joined in progress at the conclusion of the women's basketball contest. All three games will have livestats at GoBlueRaiders.com.
Senior Todd Martin made his first career start at first base ... Wayne Kendrick extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the first ... Josh Horn extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the seventh ... Adam Warren extended his hitting streak to three games with a pinch-hit triple in the seventh ... Doug Birkofer's five-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-2 effort ... Middle Tennessee had 20 hits in the contest. The last Blue Raider team to post 20 hits in a game was May 9, 2004, an 18-0, seven-inning victory at New Orleans.
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