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Fifth inning rally hands Middle Tennessee the series win over Ball State

Williams goes 2-for-4 in victory

March 11, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Jonathan Sisco allowed just one unearned run in six strong innings of work on Sunday and a six-run rally in the fifth put the Middle Tennessee baseball team up for good, handing visiting Ball State a 6-1 loss at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

"It was all about Jonathan Sisco today," head coach Steve Peterson said. "He pitched an outstanding game, and I always felt our offense was going to get something going. Sisco made the difference though. He stayed out of trouble and located his pitches on a day that was obviously a hitter's day."

Sisco, who entered the day 2-0 with an impressive 1.35 ERA, finished the day without allowing a single unearned run, giving up seven hits and striking out four.

"I was making them put it into play and keeping the ball on the ground because the wind was blowing out today," Sisco said. "I'm completely confident in my defense behind me. They always do a great job, and it's nice knowing that as a pitcher. Plus, they went out there and put some runs on the board to give me a bit of a breather."

Ethan Williams was the go-to guy at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and three batted in. The junior first baseman, who knocked out his first career home run in Saturday's win, kept it going Sunday with a three-run blast in the fifth to break the game open.

Four other Blue Raiders registered a hit, but MT as a team was out-hit 11-6.

BSU (3-9) pushed the first run of the game across in the fourth. After two quick outs, back-to-back singles by Brandon Estep and Dominic Catanzarite followed up by a Hank LaRue throwing error scored a run and put Catanzarite at third, but Sisco was able to induce a flyout moments later to get out of the jam.

The Blue Raiders counter-punched in the fifth, sending nine to the plate and scoring six times. After Ryan Stephens earned a bases-loaded walk to tie it up, Ryan Ford laced a one-out single to center to score two and hand MT the lead. Following a LaRue out, Williams cleared the bases with a shot over the wall in right to put the game out of reach for the Cardinals.

Paul Mittura pitched a scoreless final three frames to pick up his first save this season and seventh of his career, tying him for 10th all-time in program history.

MT improved to 10-6 on the season, and have now won three consecutive weekend series. The Blue Raiders will look to keep their play as of late rolling on Tuesday when they make the short trek up to Nashville to take on Belmont. First pitch at Rose Park is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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