Tollison pitches Blue Raiders to 3-1 win at Louisiana

Middle Tennessee notches first win over Ragin' Cajuns in Lafayette since 2005

May 13, 2011 · Athletic Communications
LAFAYETTE, La. - Facing one of the most imposing home crowds in the Sun Belt, freshman pitcher Cody Tollison responded with an outstanding performance in his first career start, leading the Blue Raiders to a 3-1 victory over Louisiana at M.L. "Tigue" Field in Lafayette, La.

"It was a really fun game tonight," head coach Steve Peterson said. "There were some tactical things going on, we had good pitching on both sides and good defense. It's a good win for us."

The win is the first for Middle Tennessee over Louisiana in Lafayette since the 2005 season.

Tollison picked up his second career win, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing five hits and one run while striking out two. It also marked the Nashville native's longest career outing.

"Cody really stepped up tonight, and it didn't surprise me that he was successful," Peterson said. "He's been getting better. He didn't start off the season as well as we would have liked, but he and Coach [Mike] McLaury, have worked very hard to get him to this point."

"It's a great atmosphere out here. The fans get after you a little bit, and I'm just happy that I could help out the team," Tollison said. "My arm feels good, and I've been working on getting my off speed pitches over. We just have to keep pitching and keep hitting, and we'll be alright."

Hunter Dawson and Paul Mittura combined to hold the Ragin' Cajuns scoreless over the final 3.1 innings with Mittura picking up his sixth save of the season.

On offense, Matt Drake helped lead the Blue Raiders, going 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Trent Miller was 2-for-4 with a run batted in and a run scored.

After giving up a run in the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Raiders got on the board with a pair of scores in the top of the fifth to grab their first lead. Drake led off the frame with a single and scored just moments later on a Miller double to left center. Ford followed up with a single to right center to hand MT a 2-1 edge.

Middle Tennessee manufactured on an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Miller led off with a single, and Jordan Rorex came on to pinch run. After reaching second on a Ford sacrifice bunt, he advanced to third on a wild pitch. Johnny Thomas brought him home on a two-out single through the left side.

The bottom of the ninth was not without drama however. With two men on base and two outs, UL pinch hitter Daniel Nichols worked a full count, but Mittura ultimately induced a ground ball to shut the door on the Cajuns.

The Blue Raiders and Louisiana will face off again on Saturday evening in Lafayette. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.

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