Drake pitches Blue Raiders to rain-shortened win over Memphis

Blue Raiders win 4-0 in five innings

April 20, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Matthew Drake didn't enter the 2011 season as a pitcher, but after a tossing a scoreless five innings against Memphis on Wednesday at FedExPark, he picked up his first career win on the mound, leading the Middle Tennessee baseball team to a 4-0 victory.

Inclement weather brought the game to a premature end after the fifth inning.

"Matt did exactly what he was supposed to do out there," head coach Steve Peterson said. "He didn't do anything fancy. He hit his spots, threw strikes and pitched to his strengths. It would've been fun if he could've kept the no-hitter going. Obviously, we're going to see Matt out there a bit more often."

Drake pitched all five innings and allowed just one hit without issuing a walk. The junior pitched a perfect 4.1 innings before Phillip Chapman broke it up in the fifth.

"I was just focusing on what Acker told me to throw and tried to hit my spots," Drake said. "I was mainly a pitcher in high school, but once I started college, I've focused more on hitting. I'm just happy I could help the team."

Catcher Tyler Acker has now caught three consecutive shutouts.

At the plate, the Blue Raiders were led by Will Skinner. The Murfreesboro native was 2-for-2 with a solo home run and two runs scored, and Justin Guidry went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in.

Hank LaRue also starred, going 1-for-1 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI.

Middle Tennessee (13-25) grabbed the lead early. Skinner led off the second inning with a solo shot to left center, and Guidry stretched the lead to 3-0 later in the inning with a bases-loaded single to plate LaRue and Ryan Ford.

The Blue Raiders stretched the lead out to 4-0 in the fifth when LaRue singled in Skinner.

Middle Tennessee will now head home and return to conference action with three-game series against ULM at Reese Smith Jr. Field this weekend. First pitch on Friday is slated for 6 p.m.

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