Key Sun Belt series on tap for Blue Raiders this weekend

Third-place MT hosts second-place Arkansas State

April 26, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team resumes Sun Belt action with a crucial three-game home series against Arkansas State this weekend. After traveling the past two weekends, the third-place Blue Raiders return home to host the second-place Red Wolves on Friday at 6 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

MT (24-19, 10-8 SBC) looks to rebound after dropping two at ULM last week then splitting a pair of midweek contests against Tennessee Tech and Vanderbilt. The Blue Raiders rallied from a six-run deficit to knock off the Golden Eagles, 10-7, on Tuesday, but suffered an 8-4 setback to the Commodores Wednesday.

Hunter Adkins will take the mound for Friday’s contest, while Johnathan Frebis and Jonathan Sisco round out the weekend rotation. The trio is the key reason the Blue Raiders rank second in the league in opponent batting average (.254), with Frebis leading the league in opponent batting average, as foes are hitting just .200 against the freshman lefty.

Justin Guidry leads MT offensively, hitting .361 to go along with a seven-game hitting streak. Ryan Ford also has put together a six-game hitting streak, including a 3-for-4 performance against Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Guidry has been particularly effective against Arkansas State, hitting .393 in seven games against the Red Wolves. He has driven in two runs and four RBI. Last season, Hank LaRue went 4-for-12 with five RBI and two runs in the series.

The Blue Raiders own a 23-11 record against Arkansas State under the direction of head coach Steve Peterson, including 9-2 mark in Murfreesboro. MT swept the last meeting between the two teams at Reese Smith Jr. Field in 2009, but dropped all three games in last year’s meeting in Jonesboro. It marked the only series victory for the Red Wolves in the history of the two teams.

Arkansas State has only played one game since April 18 after two rain outs against Florida Atlantic last weekend. The Red Wolves dropped the only contest between the two teams, 6-2, on Sunday.

This weekend’s series is full of festivities for Blue Raider fans of all ages. On Friday, MT welcomes the Murfreesboro Baseball Association Little League and Sunday features the Optimist Little League. All little leaguers wearing their jersey will get in free on Friday and Sunday.

The BRAA will host its annual BRAA Appreciation Day on Saturday. The world famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be on hand beginning at 2 p.m. First pitch Saturday is slated for 4 p.m., while Sunday is at 1 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.