Blue Raiders host Tigers for first time in three years

First pitch slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday

March 26, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raider baseball team concludes its nine-game homestand with a pair of midweek contests against Memphis. Middle Tennessee will host the Tigers for the first time since 2009 on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and wrap up the series on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

MT (14-10, 3-3 Sun Belt) is coming off a tough weekend against Florida Atlantic, earning a 5-1 win on Friday before dropping the final two games of the series, 4-1 and 3-0. The Blue Raiders continue to maintain the league’s best pitching staff, boasting a 3.35 ERA and .228 opponent batting average. The staff has allowed 92 runs this season, 20 fewer than any other conference team.

Daniel Palo will take the mound for Tuesday’s contest, while Jordan Cooper will handle the starting role Wednesday. Palo (0-0) made his first start of the season against Tennessee Tech last Tuesday, tossing three innings and giving up just one run. Cooper (0-1) has made four starts, with his longest outing coming at Tennessee on Feb. 28. Cooper limited the Volunteers to two runs in 5.1 innings.

Ethan Williams leads the Blue Raiders offensively, hitting .322, while Guidry’s .315 average is second-best on the team. In five games against the Tigers, Guidry is hitting .579 with five RBI, three doubles and a pair of runs.

The Blue Raiders hold a 39-32 advantage in the series under head coach Steve Peterson, including a 22-12 mark in Murfreesboro. The two teams split the series last season, with Memphis (10-13, 1-2 C-USA) winning the first meeting, 9-6, before MT claimed the second, 4-0. The last time the two teams met in Murfreesboro, the Blue Raiders swept both contests, outscoring the Tigers by a combined margin of 36-7.

Despite dropping the series to No. 7 Rice last weekend, the Tigers claimed a 6-2 victory over the Owls on Sunday. Michael Wills (1-0) will take the mound for Memphis on Tuesday, while Wednesday’s starter is still to be determined. Wills carries an ERA of 2.03 in four appearances this season.

Offensively, the Tigers are led by Adam McClain, hitting .415. Eli Hynes has driven in a team-high 23 runs and hit six home runs for Memphis.

Both games can be heard on WMTS 88.3 with Dick Palmer and John Callow on the call.

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