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Baseball set to host Ohio this weekend

Blue Raiders looking to repeat the successes of 2010 against the Bobcats

February 23, 2012 · Athletic Communications
WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, 3 p.m. - vs. Ohio
Saturday, 2 p.m. - vs. Ohio
Sunday, 1 p.m. - vs. Ohio

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team will look to get back on track this weekend with a three-game set against Ohio of the Mid-American Conference, beginning Friday afternoon at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

This weekend marks the second time Ohio has made the trip to Murfreesboro in the last three seasons. In 2010, the Bobcats were outscored 30-14 in the series, falling victim to a particularly impressive stretch by then-sophomore Justin Guidry. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native hit .533 in the series with six runs scored and three batted in.

Ohio (1-2) and Middle Tennessee will be playing in just their second-ever series since head coach Steve Peterson took control of the baseball program in 1988. Over that time, Peterson holds an 8-4 mark against foes from the Mid-American conference with all 12 games taking place in Murfreesboro.

The Blue Raiders (1-3) have been the recipient of a number of strong pitching performances so far this season, but the duo of Murfreesboro natives Johnathan Frebis and Jonathan Sisco have stood out the most.

Frebis, who is scheduled to make his second career start in Saturday's meeting, pitched five innings last weekend against Saint Louis without allowing a run, becoming the first Blue Raider to accomplish the feat since MT joined the Sun Belt in 2001.

The singular glory was short-lived however, as Sisco bettered it this past Tuesday with a spectacular five inning showing of his own, which included retiring the first 11 hitters he faced and leaving the mound with a 1-0 lead. It wouldn't prove to be enough to win the game though, as the Blue Raiders ultimately lost to Lipscomb in 3-1 fashion.

At the plate, Johnny Thomas is amid a breakout start to the season. The junior is hitting a team-best .294 from the plate and has knocked in six of Middle Tennessee's nine runs this season, including two home runs. Thomas hit one homer in all of last season.

Thomas has been instrumental in supplying the offense when it's needed too. Last Friday with the Blue Raiders down early to Kansas, the Kenner, La., answered with a three-run blast to hand MT a 3-1 lead. A day later, Thomas gave Middle Tennessee an early lead again, doubling home Ryan Ford put MT up 1-0 in the first.

Thomas added to his heroics in the first game against Lipscomb on Tuesday, homering to start the game in the first, and then doubling in the seventh to tie things up with the Bisons.

First pitch on Friday between the Blue Raiders and the Bobcats is slated for 3 p.m.

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