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Blue Raiders ready for match-up against Austin Peay

First pitch in Clarksville set for 6 p.m.

April 10, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team will take a short break from conference play when it makes the trek up to Clarksville to take on Austin Peay on Wednesday evening at Raymond C. Hand Park.

The Blue Raiders are entering the game riding a five-game winning streak, tying for the longest this season, thanks in large part to the pitching staff, who carry a 3.61 ERA, ranking first in the Sun Belt conference. Jordan Cooper will aim to keep it going as he's slated to get the start on the mound.

Cooper is hunting for his first career win wearing the Blue and White, and he's coming into Wednesday's game with an 0-2 record and a 6.50 ERA. The Knoxville native will be looking to repeat the heroics of his first two starts, when he averaged 4.2 innings pitched and two earned runs, helping lead the Blue Raiders to a rare road victory at Tennessee.

If recent weeks are an indicator, he should be on track for a bit of support offensively. After a slow start, the Blue Raiders rank fourth in the conference in team batting average at .276. Trent Miller leads the way with a .361 average, 29 runs batted in, 22 scored and eight homers. Justin Guidry is second with a .344 average and 29 runs, and Ethan Williams and his .337 clip made their return to the MT line-up over the weekend after missing eight games.

APSU, a former conference rival, looks to stand in the way of the Blue Raiders in a sixth consecutive win, which would mark the longest winning streak since the early part of the 2010 season. The Governors currently sit atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings with a 7-1 record and a 19-12 mark overall.

MT and APSU split a pair of meetings last season, and the Blue Raiders will be trying to continue their success over their adversaries to the north under head coach Steve Peterson. Dating back to 1988, MT is 44-21 vs. the Governors and 19-11 in Clarksville. Guidry boasts of impressive numbers in his five career games in the series, hitting .409 with four runs scored and nine batted in. Matthew Drake was the go-to guy in the two games last season, scoring four times and putting together a .700 on-base percentage with three RBI.

First pitch on Wednesday evening in Clarksville is set for 6 p.m.

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