This Week in Blue Raider Baseball

March 28, 2006 · MT Media Relations
THIS WEEK'S ACTIVITIES: Middle Tennessee hosts Samford Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m. in its only games of the week. The Blue Raiders are off this weekend because of the odd number of baseball teams in the Sun Belt. Wednesday's game is a Business Person's Special. Anyone presenting a business card may buy a general admission ticket for $3. Lightning's Locker Room will be open for both games

MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS. SAMFORD: The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series, 4-3, since 1976, including 2-1 in Murfreesboro. Middle Tennessee and Samford split two games at Reese Smith Field in 2003, with the Blue Raiders winning, 7-6, and Samford coming back with a 14-6 triumph the following day. The only other meeting in Murfreesboro was an 8-2 Blue Raider win in 2001. Middle Tennessee has won two straight in the series, taking both games in Birmingham in 2004.

BEACHUM NAMED SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Jeff Beachum was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Tuesday, Middle Tennessee's first POW honor this season. Beachum went 10-for-20 (.500) in four games last week, leading Middle Tennessee to a 3-1 mark and a series win over the weekend against Arkansas-Little Rock to start conference play. He had three doubles, a triple, scored four times and drove in four other runs as well as stealing a base. In Wednesday's win at Tennessee Tech the four-year starter was 2-for-5 with a run and one RBI. He was 8-for-15 (.533) in the three games against UALR, collecting multi-hits in all three outings. On Friday Beachum was 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs and came back with a 2-for-4 effort on Saturday with a double, triple, run scored and one RBI. In Sunday's finale the shortstop had three hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, including the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. it is Beachum's third POW honor in his career (May 10, 2004; May 9, 2005). For the season Beachum leads the Blue Raiders with a .374 batting average, collecting seven doubles (team high) with 10 RBIs and a team-high 19 runs scored. He also leads Middle Tennessee with 34 hits and has three stolen bases.

BEACHUM CLIMBLING CAREER LISTS: Senior Jeff Beachum has enjoyed a very successful career at Middle Tennessee, starting all but seven possible games in his four-year tenure. Beachum moved past former teammate Nate Jaggers (2002-05) into second place on the career hits list over the weekend against Arkansas-Little Rock. The Cordova, Tenn., native now has 259 career hits heading into midweek games against Samford. Beachum is only 10 hits from tying career leader Clay Snellgrove (1994-97) at the top of the all-time list. The Cordova HS product also moved past Jayhawk Owens (43, 1988-90), Jaggers (44, 2002-05) and Doug Barner (45, 1993-96) into sixth on the career doubles list with 46. He is only five away from second place in that category as well and would pass Bryan Peck (48, 1999-00), Brett Carroll (50, 2002-04), George Zimmerman (51, 1986-89) and Mudcat Brewer (51, 1991-94). Beachum also ranks fourth in career at-bats (778) and moved into first against UT Martin on March 16 on the career singles list (203). A full listing appears on page seven of these notes.

MORE ON BEACHUM: Senior Jeff Beachum has been Middle Tennessee's hottest hitter in the last five games and for most of the season. Beachum is 11-for-25 (.440) during his current five-game hitting streak with five runs scored, four RBIs, two doubles and a triple. In four games last week the Cordova, Tenn., native batted .500 (10-for-20) with three doubles, a triple, four RBIs and four runs scored, helping the Blue Raiders to a 3-1 mark. In the weekend series against Arkansas-Little Rock, he was even better with a .533 batting average (8-for-15) with three doubles, a triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. Beachum has hit safely in 17 of the team's 20 games this season. For the season Beachum leads the Blue Raiders with a .374 batting average, collecting seven doubles (team high) with 10 RBIs and a team-high 19 runs scored. He also leads Middle Tennessee with 34 hits and has three stolen bases.

WARREN A MAJOR CATALYST: Junior Adam Warren has started at all three outfield spots this season for Middle Tennessee, filling every role given to him defensively by head coach Steve Peterson. In the last seven games Warren has picked up his offensive production as well, batting a team-best .455 (10-for-22) with eight runs scored, three doubles, two triples and four RBIs. He has also drawn three walks and been hit twice for a .556 on-base percentage. Warren had a seven-game hitting streak snapped Saturday against Arkansas-Little Rock, but collected a pair of multi-hit outings during the stretch. He was 3-for-3 with a double and triple and two runs scored on March 16 against UT Martin and doubled, walked twice and scored three times in Friday's victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. For the year the Jackson, Tenn., native has raised his batting average to .322 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBIs as well as 16 runs scored, tied for second best on the club.

STREAKS: Senior Jeff Beachum carries a five-game hitting streak into the midweek games against Samford, collecting 11 hits in 25 at-bats (.440) during the stretch with five runs scored, four RBIs, two doubles and a triple. Beachum has moved back to the top of the lineup the last five games and has hit in the leadoff spot in 14 of the team's 20 contests this season. He is 16-for-31 (.516) reaching as a leadoff hitter this season. Senior Josh Horn has a four-game hitting streak heading into Tuesday, collecting one hit in each of the four outings with two runs scored, five RBIs, a double and a home run. Senior Todd Martin hit safely in all three games over the weekend against Arkansas-Little Rock, going 3-for-10 (.300) with three runs scored and two RBIs in the series.

MCKENRY NAMED NSCA ALL-AMERICAN: Junior Michael McKenry was honored on March 17 by the National Strength and Conditioning Association with its annual All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year award, recognizing student-athletes' dedication to strength training and conditioning. This year the NSCA awarded 242 collegiate athletes from 160 schools with the esteemed award. McKenry was nominated by Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning as well as baseball strength coach Matt Riley. McKenry is one of only 12 Division I baseball players in the country honored by the NSCA, including: Jon Polston - Air Force Academy, Justin Smucker - Binghamton, Michael Cowgill - James Madison, Anthony Gressick - Ohio, Dallas Buck - Oregon State, Justin Cassel - UC-Irvine, Chase Christianson - South Alabama, Aaron George - South Alabama, Marc Maddox - Southern Miss, Anthony Jackson - Pacific, and Charles Schultz - Youngstown State. The All-American Athlete of the Year Award program is in its 27th year and is made possible by a grant from Power Systems, Inc., a Knoxville, Tenn., fitness product leader.

Doug Birkofer drew a career-high two walks ... Chase Eakes tied his career-high with three RBIs as well as two walks. The only other time in his career that Eakes drew two walks in a game was April 20, 2005, versus Memphis ... Grant Nickell drew a career-high two walks and stole his first career base ... Adam Warren scored a career-high three runs, tied his career-high with two walks and set a career-high with two stolen bases ... Matt Scott walked a career-high three batters.
Saturday: Jeff Beachum collected his first triple of the season and just the fourth of his career. Beachum's last triple was May 11, 2005, at Vanderbilt ... Wayne Kendrick tied his career-high with three hits, his fifth three-hit game of the season ... Adam Warren's seven-game hitting streak came to an end after an 0-for-4 performance ... Langdon Stanley worked a career-long 4.2 innings.
Sunday: Josh Horn recorded his second home run of the season, driving in a career-high three runs ... Adam Warren stole a career-high two bases for the second time in the series ... Jeff Beachum had three hits in the game, his 13th multi-hit game of the season and 80th of his career.

BASEBALL TEAM CAMP DATES ALSO SET: The Blue Raider baseball program will host its second annual Team Camp, July 10-13, at Reese Smith Field. The camp includes five games plus instruction, as well as a pro-style workout with area scouts on the first evening. Team coaches and players receive instruction each afternoon of the session from Middle Tennessee coaches, current and former players, as well as area high school and college coaches and scouts. Registration forms may be found at GoBlueRaiders.com on the baseball page or by calling Associate Head Coach Jim McGuire at 615/898-2961.

OTHER SUMMER CAMP DATES SET AS WELL: Three other summer baseball camps will be held in June, starting the 11th and running until the 22nd of the month. The Pitcher-Catcher Camp runs June 11-13 and the Hitting Camp is June 13-15, with both camps for ages 13-2006 High School senior. The Day Camp for ages 7-12 ONLY is June 19-22. For information on these camps please call the main athletic department number at 615/898-2450 or you may access a camp brochure on the baseball page at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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