Miller launches 10th homer in Blue Raiders' 6-2 loss to Troy
Sunday's rubber match slated for 1 p.m.April 14, 2012 · Athletic Communications
TROY, Ala. – Trent Miller belted his team-leading 10th home run of the season, but the Middle Tennessee baseball team fell to the Troy Trojans, 6-2, on Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
“It was a totally different situation from last night, and tonight was Troy’s night,” head coach Steve Peterson said. “(Troy starting pitcher) Joe Hernanzdez really threw well. He was really hitting his spots and they made things happen when they got runners on base.”
MT (21-14, 9-5 Sun Belt) took advantage of an early miscue to put a pair of unearned runs on the board in the opening frame. After Hank LaRue reached second on a dropped fly to center field, Miller drilled the first pitch he saw over the leftfield wall to give the Blue Raiders a 2-0 lead. Miller finished the game 2-for-4 with the two RBI homer.
The Trojans (15-19, 4-10 SBC) responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, likewise capitalizing on a dropped fly ball to score an unearned run. Tyler Hannah reached third on error and Danny Collins knocked him home with a double to make it a 2-1 game. Troy had a chance to take the lead with the bases loaded, but MT starter Johnathan Frebis got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead.
“Anytime you make a mistake in the outfield it’s going to mean runs because it allows for extra bases,” Peterson said. “Frebis really battled himself, but with all the stuff that was happening, to get out of that inning with only one run, he really did a great job.”
Jake Harrell’s leadoff home run in the fourth evened the score for the Trojans at 2-2.
The Blue Raiders started the fifth with back-to-back singles from Johnny Thomas and Ryan Ford, but picked up a pair of quick outs to send Robert Lawrence to the plate. Lawrence bounced one into the right-side gap for an infield single, but Trojan second baseman Tyler Vaughn made a diving stop and fired home to get Thomas out at the plate, keeping the game knotted at two.
The Trojans then scored four unanswered runs over the next three innings and Hernandez (3-1) pitched into the seventh before giving way to Thomas Austin. Hernandez allowed just the two unearned runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks, while Austin picked up the save with 2.2 innings of hitless work.
Frebis tossed four innings of three-hit ball, allowing two runs, one earned and striking out two with five walks. Matthew Drake (0-1) took the loss after tossing just an inning but giving up the game-winning run on three hits.
The two teams will square off in the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Jonathan Sisco will take the mound for MT sporting a conference-leading 1.76 ERA and 5-1 record. His counterpart for the Trojans will be Ryan Brady with a 3.27 ERA and 0-2 record.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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