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Blue Raiders drop series to Florida Atlantic

MT will close out nine-game home stand with Memphis this week

March 25, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team was in position to break through nearly every inning on Sunday afternoon, but the Blue Raiders couldn't put the hits together at the right time as they fell 3-0 to visiting Florida Atlantic in the rubber game of a three-game set at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

MT left 12 on base over the course of the nine innings, including stranding runners in scoring position seven times.

The loss is the first time the Blue Raider offense hasn't managed to score a run this season.

Jonathan Sisco picked up the hard-luck loss after a pitching a strong 6.2 innings and allowing just three runs (one unearned) on six hits and walking one. The junior falls to 4-1 this season, his first wearing the blue and white.

"Sisco battled," head coach Steve Peterson said. "It's like I told the team yesterday, 'There is no doubt in my mind that you've got a pitcher that's going to battle his tail off,' and that's what Sisco did. He gave us an opportunity to win the ball game. We just did not get the clutch hits."

Ryan Ford, Matthew Drake and Ryan Stephens each had two-hit days, and the MT offense actually out-hit the Owls 10-8 for the day.

A pair of hits and two costly errors gave FAU the lead in the opening frame, but Sisco was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a fly to right for the first out, and Trent Miller doubled off the runner at first, one of two outfield assists the sophomore recorded in the game.

"I put a lot of trust in the other outfielders, and Ryan Stephens is my eyes out there," Miller said. "I listen for him, and I don't really pay attention to the runner. He lets me know if the runners have tagged up or not, and I'm going to try and throw them out. He did a great job, and it's just teamwork out there."

Stephens also recorded an outfield assist, his second of the season.

Blue Raiders would be left in scoring position in five of the ensuing six frames before singles by Mitch Morales and Geoff Jimenez pushed the Owls out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh to chase Sisco from the mound.

Nick Montgomery gave up one hit over the final six outs of the game.

MT's best chance for a response came in the eighth when it appeared a late two-out rally might be in the works. After two quick outs, the Blue Raiders loaded the bases for Stephens, but the sophomore flied out to shallow left to end the threat.

MT will look to get back on track on Tuesday and Wednesday when they welcome in-state foe Memphis back to Murfreesboro for the first time since 2009. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6 p.m.

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