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Baseball falls 5-3 to Southern Illinois

Big second inning not enough for Blue Raiders

March 7, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team struck first on Wednesday, but it was short-lived as Southern Illinois responded with five runs over its next three frames to hand the Blue Raiders a 5-3 loss at Abe Martin Field in Carbondale, Ill.

Nathan Foriest was impressive at times in his first start on the mound, striking out eight in just 3.2 innings, but the freshman surrendered five runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks to earn his first career loss.

Joey McClung finished off the game for MT, pitching 4.1 frames of four-hit ball with a pair of strikeouts.

Ryan Stephens and Ryan Ford both ended the game 1-for-3 with a run batted in to lead a Blue Raider offense that was out-hit 8-5 on the day.

Ford also had a pair of steals, bringing his total to five in two games against SIU.

Trent Miller and Johnny Thomas both went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Saluki miscues in the top of the second put the Blue Raiders ahead first, giving MT the early 3-0 advantage. A pair of errors and a Miller single off of SIU third baseman Donny Duschinsky's glove loaded the bases with no outs for the Blue and White.

Stephens singled through the left side to score one, and Michael Adkins grounded into a fielder's choice to record his first career RBI. A perfect squeeze play by Ford, pushed Jordan Rorex across the plate for the final run of the frame.

However, the Salukis capitalized on MT errors in the bottom half of the frame to bring it back even. A pair of Adkins throwing errors and a walk scored one, and put runners on second and third with no outs. It looked like the Blue Raiders were going to get out of the jam, but Duschinsky laced a two-out single to tie things up.

SIU took the lead in the fourth. Wes Neece led off with a single, and a trio of Foriest wild pitches brought the run home. Jake Welch earned a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a Foriest throwing error, eventually scoring when Chris Serritella singled to center with two outs.

Wednesday's loss marks the first in the last 10 games against SIU.

The Blue Raiders will have Thursday off before playing host for the fourth weekend in a row at Reese Smith Jr Field. MT is set to welcome Ball State to Murfreesboro for the first time since 2005. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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