Blue Raiders fall to Vanderbilt

Ford goes 3-for-4 in loss

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

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After overcoming a six-run deficit at Tennessee Tech on Tuesday, the Middle Tennessee baseball team couldn't repeat the feat against Vanderbilt on Wednesday evening at Reese Smith Jr. Field, falling to the visiting Commodores in 8-4 fashion.

Seven Blue Raiders recorded a hit, highlighted by three-hit showings from both Ryan Ford and Hank LaRue, on the way to out-hitting the Commodores 12-10

MT fell to 25-19 on the season, and VU improved to 19-22.

Nathan Foriest got the start on the mound, and allowed three runs over two innings of work to drop to 1-2 on the season. Nick Montgomery came on in relief and allowed four over the ensuing two frames.

The trio of Cody Tollison, Brandon Hall and Joey McClung combined to silence the Commodore bats over the final 4.2 innings, allowing just one run on two hits.

VU got things going early as Mike Yastrzemski singled through the right side in the first, and Anthony Gomez followed up by belting triple down the right field line to hand the Commodores the 1-0 lead. A hit-by-pitch and walk loaded the bases, but Foriest made the next two hitters chase a third strike to get out of the jam.

The third frame was the difference for the VU as they sent nine to the plate and pushed across five runs thanks to back-to-back Conrad Gregor and Spencer Navin home runs and two-run Connor Harrell double.

After the Commodores scored once more in the top of the fifth, LaRue laced a one-out double to left, and Ford singled up the middle for the first MT tally.

Following a Harrell homer in the top of the seventh, Ethan Williams, LaRue and Ford had three consecutive one-out singles in the bottom half of the frame to cut the deficit back to six at 8-2.

MT's best chance to pull level came an inning later. Robert Lawrence reached after being hit by a pitch, and back-to-back singles from Johnny Thomas and Justin Guidry loaded the bases for Trent Miller, who pushed a single through the right side for the first run. Gomez pulled off a rare hidden ball trick at second to help alleviate the pressure for VU. Following a Williams strikeout, LaRue singled through the right side to score Thomas, but that was all the Blue Raiders could muster.

The Blue Raiders will now prepare for a return to conference play at Reese Smith Jr. Field against Arkansas State this weekend. The Red Wolves are currently one game up on MT for second place in the Sun Belt Conference.

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