Comeback Falls Short for Blue RaidersApril 23, 2006 · MT Media Relations
The Jaguars (29-15, 5-7) swept the series and defeated Middle Tennessee for the sixth straight time dating to last season. The Blue Raiders (18-17, 5-7) gave up 33 runs and 53 hits in the series.
Middle Tennessee trailed 7-1 before scoring four times in both the fifth and sixth innings, tying the game at nine. But South Alabama plated four runs in the sixth and seven runs in the seventh against three Blue Raider relievers, ending the game with one out in the seventh on a run-scoring double from Joel Collins, who led off the inning with a solo home run.
David Doss (2-1), the third USA pitcher of the day, picked up the victory, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
Middle Tennessee used six hurlers in the contest, with Anderson (0-1) taking the loss. The lefthander gave up six runs, three earned, on five hits in 1.1 innings. The Blue Raiders made nine errors in the three games, four in each of the last two outings.
Doss was also 4-for-6 with three RBIs and three runs scored at the plate for South Alabama, while Patrick Weaver and David Freese both scored four times.
The Jaguars got off to a fast start when Tyler Jones led off the first with a single off Josh Horn's glove at third and Jones stole second. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third followed by walks to Freese and Jeff Cunningham to load the bases. Doss then singled home two runs and Cunningham scored on a wild pitch before Middle Tennessee starter Chad Edwards could get out of the first.
The Blue Raiders got a run back in the second when McKenry led off with a single through the rightside and Chase Eakes doubled in front of a diving Aaron George in rightfield with two outs, with McKenry coming all the way around to score.
But South Alabama plated three more runs in the second on two hits, one physical error and one mental mistake. Collins was hit to leadoff and after a sacrifice, Jones singled and stole second. Weaver's two-run double ended the day for Edwards.
Blue Raider reliever Shay Horseman hit Freese and after a popout, Doss grounded to Horn at third, who couldn't decide what to do with the ball and didn't get anyone out. George's nubber off the end of the bat was then booted by Beachum at short, allowing a run to score for a 6-1 USA advantage.
The Jaguars added a run in the fourth on an RBI single to left from Collins for a 7-1 USA lead.
The Blue Raiders started the comeback in the fifth when Alex Watson and Horn both singled to lead off. A double to leftcenter from Hines plated both runners and McKenry and Adam Warren followed with RBI singles later in the inning.
South Alabama got two runs back in the bottom of the inning when Weaver tripled to leadoff and Freese singled. With two outs George tripled to centerfield for a 9-5 USA edge.
Middle Tennessee tied the contest in the sixth when Watson singled to leadoff again and Horn followed with a double to leftcenter. Beachum's RBI grounder scored a run before Hines singled and Kendrick walked to load the bases. McKenry plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Martin followed with a two-run double, knotting the score at nine.
But the Jaguars answered again, this time with four runs of their own to retake the lead.
Freese had an RBI single and Doss plated a run with an infield hit. George then reached on an error by Beachum and Martinez followed with a two-run single, putting South Alabama ahead 13-9.
Collins leadoff the seventh with a solo homer to center, his fifth of the season and after a fly out, the next eight batters reached safely. Weaver plated a run with a single to leftcenter, as did Michael Cart and Doss. Lance Heisler had a run-scoring single followed by another from Martinez. A double to leftcenter from Collins scored Heisler and ended the contest.
Middle Tennessee begins a five-game homestand starting Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb.
Michael McKenry started in rightfield for the second time this season and fifth time in his career ... Michael McKenry extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the second ... Chase Eakes extended his hitting streak to six games with a double in the second ... Jeff Beachum extended his hitting streak to a team-best 13 games with a single in the third.
Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.
More Baseball NewsJun 8, 2013: Palo, Aper selected in Major League Baseball Draft
Jun 5, 2013: Blue Raiders in summer league action
May 21, 2013: Stephens, Thomas earn All-Sun Belt Team accolades
May 18, 2013: Blue Raiders end season with loss to WKU
May 17, 2013: Blue Raiders drop 8-2 decision to Hilltoppers
May 16, 2013: Miller, Ford homer in loss to WKU