Eight-Run Eighth Does in BaseballApril 22, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee (18-16, 5-6 SBC) led 6-4 heading to the bottom of the eighth but saw things unravel, with the Jaguars (28-16, 9-5) tying the contest on a two-run double from Jeff Cunningham. Tyler Jones, Patrick Weaver and David Freese all added RBI hits in USA's second win of the day after taking the completion of Friday's suspended game.
Neither starter made it through the fifth inning, with eight pitchers seeing action in the contest. Tommy Sterritt (0-3), the last of five Middle Tennessee hurlers, suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits with three walks in one inning of work. South Alabama's Chase Christianson (6-2) picked up his second win of the day, working 1.2 scoreless innings and striking out two.
"We had it right there. They gave us an insurance run but then we don't make a play on a potential doubleplay ball and the flood gates opened," head coach Steve Peterson said. "We had trouble finding the strike zone in that inning as well. We had every opportunity and didn't make the plays. We fell apart and that's a shame."
Wayne Kendrick and Michael McKenry each recorded three hits for the Blue Raiders, while Jeff Beachum, Josh Horn and Chase Eakes all added two hits in the 14-hit attack. Weaver was 4-for-5 with two runs for the Jaguars, while Freese and Cunningham both had three hits and Cunningham drove in four runs.
The Blue Raiders finally got on the board in the series with three runs in the fourth inning on four hits, starting with consecutive singles from Nathan Hines and Kendrick. McKenry followed with an RBI single through the right side and Adam Warren's groundout plated Kendrick. Horn's single through the left side scored McKenry for a 3-0 lead.
David Doss cut into the lead with a solo homer to leadoff the bottom of the inning, but Middle Tennessee scored twice more in the fifth on three hits and one South Alabama error.
Eakes walked and Beachum beat out an infield single before a sacrifice bunt from Hines put runners on second and third. Kendrick and McKenry both singled, plating runs for a 5-1 Blue Raider advantage.
The Jaguars got two runs back in the bottom of the inning after Weaver doubled to leadoff and Freese followed with a single, putting runners on the corners. A wild pitch moved Freese to second and both runners scored on Cunningham's single to right.
USA's Jones doubled with one out in the sixth and Freese's two-out single made it a one-run game, 5-4 Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders plated a run in the eighth when Horn doubled, moved to third on an error and scored on a double down the rightfield line from Eakes.
In the bottom of the inning Weaver walked and Freese reached on an error by Beachum. Both runners hustled on the play, moving up to second and third. Cunningham's double off the top of the wall in centerfield scored both runners, tying the game at six. After a walk Guillermo Martinez singled through the leftside, scoring a run.
Another walk loaded the bases before a wild pitch scored the fourth run of the frame. Sterritt's third walk of the inning loaded the bases again before Jones fisted a single to center for an RBI. Warren overran the ball, allowing another run to score, and Weaver followed with an RBI single. Freese then doubled home another run for a 12-6 lead.
The two teams conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stanky Field. Middle Tennessee opens a five-game homestand Tuesday against Lipscomb at 7 p.m.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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