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Middle Tennessee secures sweep over Ohio

Sisco pitches gem in 4-1 victory over the Bobcats

February 26, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Ethan Williams had a banner day at the plate and Jonathan Sisco turned in another strong performance on the mound on Sunday afternoon, leading the Middle Tennessee baseball team to a third consecutive victory and a sweep of Ohio with a 4-1 win at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

The win secured the first three-game sweep of an opponent for the Blue Raiders since a home series against New Orleans in 2010.

Sisco capped off a strong debut week with Middle Tennessee (4-3), making his second start and pitching six innings. The Murfreesboro native allowed one run on just two hits while striking out seven, tying the season high for a Blue Raider. Sisco left the mound having retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced.

"I tried to go out there and throw strikes," Sisco said. "My off-speed stuff was definitely key today, and I just relied on my defense to get people out. I was throwing my curveball and slider pretty much on command for strikes, and it's a lot easier to relax when you know your is going to make the plays and pick you up."

Nathan Foriest closed out the final three frames to earn his first career save.

"We've pitched outstanding all seven games this season," head coach Steve Peterson said. "Today was a hitter's day with the wind blowing out, but both Sisco and Foriest had great days. I''l take pitching and defense any day of the week because you'll always be in the game."

Williams had a career day at the plate, putting together a 3-for-4 outing with two doubles and a run scored. Ryan Ford ended 2-for-4 with a run, and Dain McNabb was the only other Blue Raider to record multiple hits, ending 2-for-3.

As a team, MT out-hit the Bobcats 10-4.

For the first time in six games, Middle Tennessee fell behind early as Ohio (1-5) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Ethan Newton led off the game with a walk, eventually scoring after a pair of singles and a fielder's choice.

Following the score, the Blue Raiders only allowed three base-runners over the ensuing 8.1 innings.

Trent Miller evened it back up in the second, coming up big with a two-out solo blast to right.

The sophomore finished the game 1-for-3 with a home run.

Ford and Johnny Thomas helped hand the Blue Raiders the lead an inning later. A single and a fielder's choice put the duo on base, and singles by Justin Guidry and Hank LaRue handed Middle Tennessee the 3-1 advantage.

Guidry ended 1-for-2, and LaRue was 1-for-4.

The Blue Raiders added an insurance run in the sixth. Williams led off with a double and moved to third on a Miller sacrifice bunt. A deep fly ball out to center by Ryan Stephens pushed him across the plate.

Middle Tennessee will now get ready for their annual game in Knoxville against the University of Tennessee on Tuesday. Jordan Cooper will be making the start, and Murfreesboro native Carter Watson is slated to go for the Volunteers. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.