Blue Raiders to host Ball State this weekend

First pitch on Friday scheduled for 3 p.m.

March 8, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Friday, 3 p.m. - vs. Ball State
Saturday, 2 p.m. - vs. Ball State
Sunday, 1 p.m. - vs. Ball State

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After splitting a series at Southern Illinois earlier this week, the Middle Tennessee baseball team will look to keep their good fortune within the friendly confines of Reese Smith Jr. Field rolling this weekend as it will welcome in Mid-American Conference foe Ball State to Murfreesboro.

The series marks just the second in school history between the Blue Raiders (8-5) and the Cardinals. The two sides split a pair of opening games in the 2005 season.

Hunter Adkins, Johnathan Frebis and Jonathan Sisco are all slated to start, and the trio has been responsible for guiding what ranks as Sun Belt Conference's best pitching staff. The Blue Raiders hold a 2.54 earned run average, which ranks first in the league, and MT entered the week ranked 26th nationally in the statistic.

Adkins and Sisco both carry spotless 2-0 records, and Adkins will be looking to repeat the performance he had the last time he faced a MAC school. Against Ohio last month, the junior tossed nine scoreless frames and struck out four on the way to earning SBC Pitcher of the Week.

Sisco holds the team's best ERA among starters at 1.35 and came into the week ninth nationally in hits allowed per nine innings. Last Sunday, the junior tossed a complete game of his own, allowing just three hits.

Frebis is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

At the plate, Justin Guidry has regained his place among the team's statistical leaders, hitting at a .327 clip with seven runs scored and four stolen bases.

Trent Miller is second on the team in both average (.306) and home runs (3), and Ryan Ford is batting .302 but has been just as effective on the basepaths with a team-best eight steals.

As a team, the Blue Raiders have been impressive after getting on base, swiping 27 bags on just 30 tries. In the SIU series, MT was successful on its first 10 steal attempts prior to Johnny Thomas being caught in Wednesday's loss.

Thomas makes up for it though with his excellence at the plate as the junior leads all Blue Raiders with four homers, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored.

BSU is coming into Friday's game amid a 20-game road swing to start off the season. The Cardinals dropped a tight 9-7 decision at Tennessee on Wednesday to fall to 2-7.

T.J. Weir and Blake Beemer have starred offensively for the Cardinals, each boasting of a .324 batting average, and projected Friday starter Cal Bowling is entering the weekend after tossing a complete game in a 5-2 win over Missouri.

First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m.

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.