Middle Tennessee pounds 21 hits in 12-10 win at Troy

Seven Blue Raiders recorded multiple hits

April 13, 2012 · Athletic Communications
Final Box Score (PDF)

TROY, Ala. - The Blue Raider baseball team pounded 21 hits, led by Robert Lawrence’s 4-for-6 performance, en route to a 12-10 win over Troy on Friday evening at Riddle-Pace Field. Hunter Adkins registered a career-high eight strikeouts through seven innings to pick up the win.

“I figured I had to make something happen (being in the leadoff spot), and Coach (Steve) Peterson told me before the game to just focus on getting on base,” Lawrence said. “That’s the first time I’ve had two triples in a game, so it was good to make something happen.”

The 21 hits are the second most this season, behind the 22 produced at South Alabama on April 1. Lawrence was among seven Blue Raiders (21-13, 9-4 Sun Belt) to record multiple hits in the contest, ripping a pair of triples with an RBI and two runs scored.

“Robert has been swinging it consistently, not beating himself by chasing pitches,” Peterson said. “What really made the decision of moving Robert up in the lineup, particularly to the leadoff spot, was his on-base percentage. He’s been getting on base and that’s something that, to this point, we haven’t really been doing in the leadoff spot. He gave us a spark from the first inning on and I’m really proud of him. He was a big contributor in our win.”

Ryan Stephens delivered three RBI and a pair of runs on a 3-for-5 performance, while Justin Guidry went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Hank LaRue belted his second home run of the season and finished 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs.

Adkins (5-3) allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits while walking just two in the victory. The Blue Raiders tagged Preseason Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Tyler Ray (2-4) for eight runs, all earned, on 12 hits.

Lawrence wasted no time taking advantage of his leadoff roll, opening the game with a triple then scoring on Guidry’s grounder to first despite the Trojans’ decision to throw home on the fielder’s choice. LaRue then delivered the second blow, skying a 2-1 pitch over the rightfield wall for the 3-0 lead.

The Trojans (14-19, 3-10 SBC) got one back on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, but the Blue Raiders more than made up for it in the next half inning with another three-spot. MT reeled off five straight hits to open the frame, with Ethan Williams, Johnny Thomas and Stephens each punching a run across for the 6-1 advantage. Thomas would go on to finish 3-for-5 on the day.

It was Lawrence’s second triple in the sixth that helped put two more Blue Raider runs on the board. He knocked in Stephens on the three-bagger, then made his way home on a base-knock from Guidry for the 8-1 advantage.

Troy inched back in the bottom of the sixth thanks in part to a two-run homer from Danny Collins, but Adkins worked his way out of the inning to preserve the 8-4 lead.

Stephens laced one off the wall in rightfield to account for the third MT triple of the day and two more runs in the seventh, while Ryan Ford and Dain McNabb also got in on the action with an RBI apiece.

Another Trojan home run in the eighth, this time off the bat of Boone Shear, made it a 12-6 game heading into bottom of the ninth. The Trojans took advantage of an error to score four more runs in the final frame, but reliever Joey McClung induced a pop-up to stifle Troy’s rally.

Saturday’s first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. Johnathan Frebis will take the mound for Middle Tennessee, sporting a 3.09 ERA and 3-2 record. He will square off against the Trojans’ Joe Hernandez with a 5.32 ERA and 2-1 record.

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