Blue Raiders struggle in 10-4 loss against rival Hilltoppers

Three players record hits for extra bases

March 19, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Blue Raiders struggled at the plate and on the mound Saturday afternoon in a 10-4 loss as Western Kentucky took control early and never looked back.

The Hilltoppers (12-6, 2-0) recorded 11 hits, including eight for extra bases, off four Middle Tennessee (5-12, 0-2) pitchers. Sophomore Hunter Adkins took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in 3.2 innings of work.

"Early in the game we hit the ball hard and right at people. Western Kentucky did the same thing. Then in the third inning we wilted, they got the solo home run and then we just fell apart. They got the big inning and it really wasn't the same after that. They pretty much had their way with whatever they wanted to do," head coach Steve Peterson said. "It's a very difficult loss but we're not competing in every phase of the game very well at all, especially on the pitchers' mound."

The Blue Raiders were scoreless until the seventh when they scored all four of their runs. Sophomore Ryan Ford led the team at the plate going 2 for 3 with an RBI and scored a run. Senior Will Skinner, junior Justin Guidry and freshman Trent Miller each recorded a double in the game and Guidry drove in two Blue Raider runs with his extra base hit.

Western Kentucky had three players with three hits each and Jared Andreoli led the way going 3 for 5 with two home runs, three RBI and scored two runs.

Hilltopper pitcher, Justin Hageman, took the win on the mound as he worked 6.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits and four strikeouts. He stifled the Middle Tennessee hitters' allowing just two hits until the seventh when the Blue Raiders got three straight after opening the inning with a fly out.

Western Kentucky put a run on the board first after Andreoli hit a solo home run to right field to open the bottom of the third. After Adkins loaded the bases after issuing a walk to Carter, Robbins hit a bases clearing double to the left field corner giving the Hilltoppers a 4-0 lead.

The Hilltoppers added another run in the fourth when Rice hit a two-out double to the left field corner scoring Hartle from first, 5-0. Then in the fifth, Western Kentucky extended its lead to six on a sacrifice fly.

Rice hit a two-run shot to right field in the sixth adding two more runs for the Hilltoppers, 8-0.

Middle Tennessee got on the board in the seventh when a single to short right field by Ford scored Morris from third, 8-1. Then Guidry double to deep right center to bring in Miller from third and Ford from first, 8-3. Guidry scored on a single to centerfield by Thomas making it a four-run game. The Blue Raiders ended the inning scoring four runs on five hits to cut the Western Kentucky lead, 8-4.

Western Kentucky responded quickly to the Blue Raiders' big inning as Andreoli hit a two-out home run to right centerfield taking the lead back out to six, 10-4.

The Blue Raiders will wrap-up the three-game series with Western Kentucky on Sunday, March 20 at 1 p.m.

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