Baseball to open conference play against WKU

First pitch on Friday set for 6 p.m.

March 15, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team will open its Sun Belt Conference campaign under the lights of Reese Smith Jr. Field on Friday night as the Blue Raiders will square off against rival WKU in the first of a three game set.

The Blue Raiders (10-7) will be looking to rebound from a 20-5 loss to Belmont earlier this week, and will likely rely on strong starting pitching, which has helped MT to three consecutive weekend series victories, beginning with a three-game sweep of Ohio last month.

Hunter Adkins will make the start on Friday, and the junior righthander will try to repeat his performance in his final start of last season against the Hilltoppers. Adkins tossed his first career complete game, allowing just four hits and one run, and former Blue Raider Will Skinner sealed the win for him with a walk-off grand slam to give MT the 5-1 victory.

Murfreesboro natives Johnathan Frebis and Jonathan Sisco are slated to throw on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The duo combined to pitch 13.0 innings last week against Ball State without giving up a single earned run.

Justin Guidry, a .303 hitter this season, is going to look to continue his strong numbers against the Hilltoppers. In nine career games, the senior from Mt. Juliet boasts of a .343 average with a pair of doubles, four runs batted in and eight scores. Guidry has also been impressive in conference-opening series over his career as well, hitting .346 with three doubles, two homers, six RBI and six runs.

In addition to Guidry, Ethan Williams has been a go-to guy at the plate this season, and he currently leads all Blue Raiders with a .328 batting average. Johnny Thomas has provided the bulk of the scoring with 14 runs and 12 RBI, and Trent Miller has knocked out a team-best five home runs.

WKU enters the weekend with a 7-9 record, but have taken home three of their last four, winning twice against Western Illinois and routing Butler 13-1 earlier this week. The Blue Raiders and Hilltoppers have played two common opponents, with WKU dropping an extra-innings affair to Tennessee and two out of three to Southern Illinois, both last month.

Head coach Steve Peterson is 34-29 overall against WKU since taking over the reins of Blue Raider baseball in 1988. In home meetings, that mark improves to 16-10.

First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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