Scott, Warren Lead 11-4 Baseball VictoryMarch 24, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Scott (3-1), who missed last week's start at Birmingham Southern with an injury, worked seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. The righthander walked three and struck out six, throwing 114 pitches, running his career record to 16-3.
The Blue Raiders (8-10, 1-0) took advantage of 12 walks by the UALR pitching staff, including five in one inning, forcing in two runs. Chase Eakes then delivered a three-run double to break the game open and send Middle Tennessee to its fifth SBC opening win in six tries.
UALR's Matt Yates (1-2) gave up eight runs on seven hits in five-plus innings, walking six to take the loss. Scott Yant worked to four batters, walking three and giving up three runs, while Grant Gatlin worked 2.2 scoreless innings.
The Blue Raiders scored twice in the second on just one hit thanks to a pair of hit batters and a walk by Bates. Warren was hit with one out, Eakes then walked and Josh Horn was hit, loading the bases. Beachum then singled past a diving shortstop, scoring a pair of runs for a 2-0 Middle Tennessee lead.
The home team scored twice more in the third, starting with consecutive singles from Martin and McKenry. Wayne Kendrick's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Martin scored on a wild pitch and McKenry came home on a groundout by Grant Nickell.
UALR cut the deficit to one with three runs in the fifth on three hits and one big error. Brett Lawler walked to leadoff and Brian Smiley reached when Martin dropped the ball at first base. Matt Garlington singled off the glove of Horn at third, loading the bases. Tyler Mason's infield single scored Lawler, and Ryan Gotcher's two-run single cut the Middle Tennessee lead to 4-3.
The Blue Raiders added to the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Nickell walked with one out and Warren's double on a hit-and-run plated Nickell. Warren then scored on a two-out single from Horn for a 6-3 advantage.
Five walks in the first six batters of the sixth inning forced in a pair of runs for the Blue Raiders. Eakes' bases-clearing double down the left field line gave Middle Tennessee an 11-3 edge.
Tommy Sterritt worked the final two innings for Middle Tennessee, allowing one runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
The two teams play again Saturday at 2 p.m. and conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
Doug Birkofer made his first career start in rightfield ... Matt Scott improved to 8-1 the last two seasons against Sun Belt foes, including 2-0 versus UALR ... Adam Warren extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double in the fifth ... Middle Tennessee improved to 5-1 all-time in Sun Belt openers and 13-2 versus Arkansas-Little Rock since joining the league, 7-0 at home.
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