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Blue Raiders drop 6-5 decision to Arkansas State

Middle Tennessee and ASU will play doubleheader on Saturday

April 29, 2011 · Athletic Communications
JONESBORO, Ark. - A Will Skinner grand slam provided the first comeback of the ball game for the Middle Tennessee baseball team, but the Blue Raiders couldn't mount a second as Arkansas State took home the series opener 6-5 on Friday evening at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.

"Will really put the team on his shoulders today," head coach Steve Peterson said. "He struggled a bit in his first two at bats, but he followed up with two great at bats. Their pitcher Andy Feguson really competed like heck out there with our hitters and went the distance. He maintained his velocity, hit his spots and he didn't walk people. He did a great job."

Skinner led Middle Tennessee on the evening, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and four runs batted in. Justin Guidry was the only other Blue Raider with multiple hits and went 2-for-4 as well with a run.

On the mound, Daniel Palo got the start and pitched 5.1 innings, allowing four hits and five runs (one unearned). The sophomore tied a career high with seven strikeouts.

The Red Wolves (20-24, 8-11 SBC) opened up with a run in each of the first and second frames and extended it out to a 3-0 lead with a Jordan Costaldo solo homer in the fifth.

Middle Tennessee (15-27, 7-12 SBC) came storming back in the top of the sixth. Ryan Ford reached on a one-out infield single, and a Johnny Thomas walk and Tyler Acker single loaded the bases for Skinner's lead-changing grand slam.

However, the Blue Raider advantage was short-lived as the Red Wolves posted a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to take back the lead at 5-4.

After ASU tacked on another run in the seventh, the Blue Raiders set up for a dramatic finish. Guidry and Skinner led off with a single and a double, respectively, and Hank LaRue brought home Guidry with sacrifice fly to center, but it would be the final MT score of the game.

Middle Tennessee will close out the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.

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