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Skinner leads Blue Raiders into weekend series against Jacksonville State

Middle Tennessee will begin series on Friday at 3 p.m.

February 24, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After winning their first game of the season on Wednesday evening at Tennessee Tech, the Middle Tennessee baseball team will look to keep things rolling this weekend against Jacksonville State at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Under the direction of head coach and Jacksonville State alum Steve Peterson, the Blue Raiders hold a 20-13 record over the past 23 seasons. The two school have met every season since 2003, and the Gamecocks won two out of three in last year's series in Jacksonville. In games held in Murfreesboro, the two schools are 8-8 against each other.

JSU will be entering the weekend after opening the season on Tuesday at Auburn and on Wednesday against Kennesaw State. The Gamecocks are currently 0-2, but were voted as the preseason favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

Middle Tennessee will be looking for Will Skinner to continue his recent power surge. The Murfreesboro native has hit three home runs in the first four games of the year, including two in Wednesday's game against Tennessee Tech. Skinner holds a .438 batting average and a 1.063 slugging percentage to go along with a team-best six runs batted in.

Tyler Acker has also been a force to be reckoned with at the plate, boasting of a .538 average with five RBI.

Johnny Thomas has held down the leadoff role, hitting at a .438 rate with three walks. The sophomore transfer from New Orleans has put up three multi-hit games this season.

On the mound, Middle Tennessee will look to Hunter Adkins for Friday's start. The sophomore put up a strong debut last Saturday, engaging in a pitching duel against Portland. Adkins finished the game without a decision, but allowed just one run over seven innings of work without walking a single batter.

Freshman Keaton Baker has been solid out of the bullpen for the Blue Raiders. The Cordova, Tenn., native put in two innings of work on Wednesday, picking up his first career save.

Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville State will begin this weekend's series on Friday at Reese Smith Jr. Field. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.