Blue Raiders drop series finale to Ball State

Haggard goes 3-for-5 in first MT game

February 17, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Ball State used a three-run fourth inning en route to a 5-1 win over the Middle Tennessee baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Senior short stop Ryan Ford went 1-for-3 at the plate and to drive in the only run of the afternoon in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Redshirt freshman Trevor Haggard made his Blue Raider debut and went 3-for-5 on the day with a leadoff, stand-up double in his first appearance at the plate in the first inning.

Blue Raider starting pitcher Zac Curtis threw three hitless innings in his first career appearance. Curtis faced 20 batters in five innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out three.

Middle Tennessee (2-1) saw several scoring opportunities disappear after leaving runners on base throughout the game. In the bottom of the sixth inning, MT had runners at the corners with one out but could not capitalize.

Ball State (1-2) found momentum in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Cody Campbell singled through the right side scoring Sean Godfrey from second. The next batter, T.J. Weir, drove a two-run home run over the left field wall to put Ball State up, 3-0.

In the top of the sixth, Aaron Hyder replaced Curtis on the mound and pitched three solid innings. He faced nine batters, allowing one hit and striking out four.

MT was able to put one run on the board in the bottom of the seventh when Michael Adkins came in to pinch-hit for Dain McNabb and hit a stand up double to right field. Ford came to the plate and drilled a double down the left field line, scoring Adkins and giving the Blue Raiders their only run of the afternoon.

Junior pitcher Paul Mittura came to the mound in the top of the ninth and faced five batters, allowing two runs on one hit and striking out one.

The Blue Raiders were able to put two men on at first and second in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, but Hank LaRue was called out swinging and ended the ballgame.

Ball State's Scott Baker (1-0) earned the win and MT's Zac Curtis (0-1) took the loss.

MT is back in action Tuesday, Feb. 19, when it hosts Austin Peay at Reese Smith Jr. Field with the first pitch slated for 3 p.m. It will be $2 Tuesday at the park, with $2 hot dogs, $2 drinks and $2 tickets.

On today's game...
"It was a tough day. We basically only made two bad pitches the whole day and we ended up getting beat. But you can't only score one run on a Sunday and expect to win. It's unfortunate that that happens today, but Zac Curtis pitched well. We guessed right on the pitch out, but then we don't throw the guy out and then they get a home run that really got them going. And we just couldn't get anything going offensively. We did have a few guys have pretty good days, but we just couldn't put anything together."

On runner's in scoring position...
"We went to the drag there in the first after Trevor Haggard's double and got him to third with one out. But they have a lot of respect for Trent Miller and weren't going to let him do anything, which we understand that. But the guys hitting around him are the ones that need to come through."

On Aaron Hyder's day...
"He gave us three good innings and he probably could've gone back out in the ninth, but he hadn't thrown like that yet. Coach (Skylar) Meade decided to drop him down to a low three quarters to side arm delivery and that's really improved his game. We wanted to get him in the game yesterday. We've had a lot of confidence in him in the pre-season. He's going to be good against right-handers, but he's going to have to face a few more left-handers to see how he handles that, but we expect big things from him this year.

On having to sit out last year...
"It's difficult just to sit and watch, but it was a great learning experience to watch my teammates and see how they dealt with things."

On today's game...
"Zac pitched really well, and that's encouraging to see from him. The weather conditions were great today out in the field. It was nice to be out there today. We just have to go back to the drawing board and get ready for Tuesday. We have a big week coming up this week."

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