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Gilley pitches Blue Raiders to 6-2 win against ULM

Blue Raiders grab series win over visiting Warhawks

April 24, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Eric Gilley stepped to the mound on Sunday with an opportunity to seal a second consecutive Sun Belt series win for the Middle Tennessee baseball team, and the senior did not disappoint, leading the Blue Raiders to a 6-2 victory over visiting ULM at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

"The win is huge," head coach Steve Peterson said. "I really feel like we're going to be chasing Monroe or they're going to be chasing us, so every conference win is big. The key to our success today was that Eric Gilley, on a windy day, was able to control their hitters. He kept them at bay and stayed ahead of the counts. It was just a great, great day by Gilley."

The Hendersonville, Tenn., pitched eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six. He also didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning.

"I'm just glad that I could stay out there that long," Gilley said. "I think we're going to be fighting with ULM down the stretch, so I'm happy I could help today. The defense made some big plays behind me. We win as a team."

Will Skinner was once again a force to be reckoned with in the Blue Raider line-up as the senior went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer that helped break the game open in the third.

Trent Miller also put together a strong outing, highlighted by a solo homer to left in the fourth inning. The freshman finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.

As a team, Middle Tennessee (15-26, 7-11 SBC) outhit ULM 9-6.

After a scoreless opening two innings, the Blue Raiders started things up with a five-run third frame and wouldn't look back. Miller led off with a double and scored on back-to-back singles by Ryan Ford and Johnny Thomas. Justin Guidry brought them both home with a one-out double, setting up Skinner's two-run blast to left.

Ford ended the day 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Thomas was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Guidry went 1-for-4 with two runs batted in.

Miller's solo shot in the fourth extended the advantage to 6-0 before ULM (20-19, 6-12 SBC) reclaimed a run with a solo home run of their own in the fifth.

Gilley held the Warhawks to just two hits over the remainder of the game, and Paul Mittura took to the mound in the ninth and recorded the final three outs.

Middle Tennessee will now prepare to head to Knoxville for a Tuesday meeting at Tennessee. First pitch at Lindsey Nelson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.

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