Frebis and Williams star in 7-4 win over Ball State

Blue Raiders and Cardinals will play rubber game on Sunday

March 10, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Johnanthan Frebis and Ethan Williams are both off to strong starts in their first season with the Middle Tennessee baseball team, and the duo kept it going on Saturday, helping propel the Blue Raiders to a 7-4 win over visiting Ball State at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Frebis had another strong outing on the mound, tossing seven innings of two-hit baseball and allowing one unearned run while striking out six.

"Frebis was just outstanding today," head coach Steve Peterson said. "We needed a good start today, and he got it done. He had really good command out there."

Ethan Williams tallied his first four-hit day, going 4-for-4 and knocking out his first career home run in the sixth.

"I was a bit more patient at the plate today," Williams said. "I've been a bit more selective on my pitches to hit, and it has really paid off. It feels great to get that first home run off my back, it had been nagging me."

Both Matthew Drake and Hank LaRue hit homers as well. Drake ended the day 2-for-3 and LaRue finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two batted in.

The game was a pitching duel between BSU's T.J. Weir and Frebis for much of the early goings, but Drake broke up that deadlock in the fifth with a towering two-out solo shot to left to hand the Blue Raiders a 1-0 lead.

After Frebis put the Cardinals (3-8) down in order in the top of the sixth, the Blue Raiders added two more in the bottom half as LaRue hit his first homer of the season down the left field line, and Williams followed up with one down the right field line in the very next at bat.

"Williams just bombed it," Peterson said "He really turned on it. It's good to see Ethan have that kind of day. We hit a lot of long balls today, which we really hadn't done all season, but we've won."

A Williams error led to an unearned run in the seventh, and the Cardinals ultimately tied it up with two more in the eighth. Keaton Baker and Joey McClung both gave up a run over the first two outs, and left the bases loaded for Kooper Kessler. The freshman induced a groundout to end the threat and send the game into the bottom of the eighth even at 3-3.

Michael Adkins got things going for MT (9-6), leading off with an infield single to short before being subbed out for pinch runner Jordan Rorex. The junior later moved into scoring position on a Ryan Ford sacrifice bunt and scored the go-ahead run on a LaRue double.

A Williams single and a Justin Guidry fielder's choice plated LaRue, and Trent Miller belted his fourth home run of the season down the right field line, handing MT the 7-3 advantage going into the ninth.

Kessler gave up a run at the start of the ninth, but earned his first career win after Daniel Palo entered into a bases loaded situation and set down the final two hitters of the game for his second save in as many weeks.

The Blue Raiders and Cardinals will play in the rubber game on Sunday at Reese Smith Jr. Field. Jonathan Sisco will get the start for MT, and first pitch is set for 1 p.m.

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