Baseball Erases Four-Run Deficit in 8-7 VictoryMarch 26, 2006 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders (9-11, 2-1 SBC) went down 4-0 in the first and trailed 5-1 in the fourth inning, as the visiting Trojans knocked out Middle Tennessee starter Brett Reilley early. Middle Tennessee rallied, cutting the deficit to 5-4 with Josh Horn's three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth.
But UALR (18-11, 1-2) came back with two more runs in the fifth to take a 7-4 advantage, only to watch the Blue Raiders scored twice in the seventh and then two more runs in the eighth to win the series.
Allan Woodward (2-1), the fourth Middle Tennessee pitcher, tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up the victory, striking out three and giving up one hit. Reilley gave up five runs on five hits in four innings, while Shay Horseman tossed one inning and Jeff Kasser 1.1 innings to the Blue Raiders.
Dustin Turner (4-2) took the loss for the Trojans, allowing four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. UALR starter Rob Harmon went 3.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits.
The Trojans got four quick runs in the first after a leadoff triple just inside the first base bag from Ryan Gotcher. Jacob Stover walked and Derek Eilers drove in a run with a single to left. A walk to Matt King loaded the bases before Brett Lawler grounded into a doubleplay, but Stover scored on the play.
Brian Smiley's single past the third baseman plated Eilers and a double off the base of the centerfield wall from Matt Garlington scored Smiley for a 4-0 UALR lead after a half-inning.
Beachum doubled with one out and moved to third for the Blue Raiders when Gotcher had trouble picking up the ball against the wall. Wayne Kendrick then fisted a single into short center, scoring Beachum and cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Garlington gave UALR a four-run lead again with a solo homer in the fourth.
But Middle Tennessee responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a one-out double from Warren down the rightfield line. After Chase Eakes was hit, Horn belted his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to leftcenter that hit at the top of the restroom building in the football stadium.
The Blue Raiders put two more runners on later in the inning when Beachum singled and Martin walked. After two balls to McKenry, the Trojans went to the bullpen for Turner, who walked the batter but struck out Taylor to end the inning with UALR holding a 5-4 advantage.
Gotcher singled to leadoff the fifth and Eilers walked with one out. Both runners stole a base and scored on a single to center from King, giving the visitors a 7-4 edge.
Middle Tennessee scored twice in the seventh, the latter on a heads-up baserunning play. McKenry walked and Taylor singled to leadoff the seventh. A sacrifice bunt from Alex Watson put runners at second and third and Warren followed with an RBI single to right.
With runners on first and third Eakes grounded back to the pitcher and Taylor was caught in a rundown. Eakes made it all the way to second on the play and Warren moved to third before the catcher Grey applied the tag to Taylor on the way back to third. Grey handed the ball back to Turner, who turned his back and headed back to the mound. Warren caught the Trojans sleeping and stole home, cutting the deficit to 7-6.
In the eighth Beachum singled to right to leadoff and stole second. Kendrick's sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third before Martin's single to right tied the contest. McKenry then laced a double down the leftfield line and Martin never stopped, racing around and beating the relay to give Middle Tennessee its first lead of the game.
The Blue Raiders won a series from UALR for the sixth straight year and are tied for first in the Sun Belt with New Orleans, South Alabama and Florida International after the opening weekend.
Middle Tennessee hosts Samford Tuesday at 7 p.m. and again Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Reese Smith Field.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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