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Skinner's bomb gives Blue Raiders 13-11 walk-off win

Team wins series 2-1 over Jaguars

April 3, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Will Skinner hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to hand Middle Tennessee a 13-11 win and series win over South Alabama on Sunday afternoon at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Skinner ended the day 3 for 5 with a home run, two RBI and scored two runs saving his biggest hit for when his team needed it the most. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native now has six home runs on the season.

Middle Tennessee (8-18, 2-7) and USA (14-13, 4-5) each had 16 hits in the game with 11 total for extra bases including seven home runs. Freshman Trent Miller, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, started a rally in which the Blue Raiders score six runs. The Kansas City, Mo., native hit the first home run of his Blue Raider career in the seventh and ended the day 2 for 2.

Junior Justin Guidry, freshman Hank LaRue sophomores Johnny Thomas and Ryan Ford also each had two hits on the day. Guidry hit a home run and drove in three runs while LaRue had the second triple of his career and scored two runs.

Freshman Cody Tollison took the win on the mound, the first of his career, after working 1.1 innings allowing no hits or runs.

The Jaguar's Carlton Paris took the loss after giving up the winning hit to Skinner. Paris falls to 1-2 on the season after allowing two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work.

Sunday's win gave Middle Tennessee its first Sun Belt series win of the season and the Blue Raiders have now won three of their last four games.

USA's Tanner hit a two run shot to left field in the second giving the Jags an early 2-0 lead. The Jaguars added another run in the fourth when DeBlieux singled to left bringing in Patterson from second, 3-0.

Guidry hit a home run to right centerfield in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Jaguar lead to one, 3-2. The Blue Raiders added two more runs as Skinner and Thomas scored on a single by Ford that was misplayed by the right fielder taking their first lead of the game, 4-3. Middle Tennessee ended the inning scoring four runs on five hits.

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South Alabama quickly answered scoring four runs on four hits in the fifth to take the lead back over, 7-4.

In the sixth, Ford hit a sacrifice fly to right allowing Drake to score from third and cut the USA lead to two, 7-5. Then McNabb doubled to deep right field in the next at bat bringing in two more runs and tying the score at 7. With one out, Acker doubled down the right field line allowing McNabb to score and give the Blue Raiders an 8-7 lead. LaRue tripled to deep right centerfield scoring Acker from second and making it a two run lead. Middle Tennessee ended the inning scoring six runs on six hits taking a three-run lead, 10-7.

Tanner led off the seventh inning for the Jags with a home run to right field making it a two-run game, 10-8. Then a bases loaded fielder's choice allowed another Jaguar runner to score to putting them within one Middle Tennessee turned a double play on a groundball by Kirkland to get out of the inning and keep the lead, 10-9.

Miller led the seventh inning off with his first collegiate home run to left field putting the Blue Raiders back up by two, 11-9.

USA hit two solo home runs in the ninth inning to tie the game at 11.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Tuesday, April 6 when it plays Vanderbilt in Nashville at 6 p.m. The Blue Raiders will play host to Austin Peay on Wednesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field before heading to Little Rock, Ark., for their weekend series with UALR.

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