Adkins home run not enough against Austin Peay

Sophomore catcher belts first long ball of career

February 19, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Box Score (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raider baseball team jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Austin Peay, but the Governors scored five unanswered runs to claim the 5-2 victory on Tuesday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Sophomore Michael Adkins put the Blue Raiders (2-2) on the board with his first career home run. After junior Hank LaRue's one-out double, Adkins smoked the first pitch over the leftfield wall to make it 2-0 in the second. Adkins finished the day 2-for-4.

The Governors (3-1) put up a four-spot in the top of the fourth to take the two-run lead. A leadoff walk and base-knock in front of Cody Hudson's double plated a run. Austin Peay tied the game with a run on a passed ball before RBI singles from P.J. Torres and Kevin Corey made it 4-2.

MT had a chance to push a run across in the seventh, but an impressive defensive play from Corey at third kept the Blue Raiders at bay. Robert Lawrence led off the frame with a walk and Jordan Rorex's two-out single put runners at the corners for Ryan Ford. Ford lined one to third and Corey nearly made the stab, instead knocking it down and firing to first to get Austin Peay out of the jam.

The Governors tacked on another run in the top of the ninth, capitalizing on a pair of base-hits and an MT error for the three-run advantage.

Garrett Ring (0-1) took the loss in his first career outing, going three innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits with four strikeouts. Daniel Palo was solid in relief, holding the Governors hitless in 4.1 shutout innings. Zach Hall (1-0) earned the win for Austin Peay with a five-inning, two-run performance.

The Blue Raiders hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Auburn this weekend for a tournament. MT will face the hosting Tigers on Friday at 6 p.m.

On Michael Adkins...
"He hit that ball a ton. He's really made a lot of improvement. I know the summer really helped him, and it carried into the fall. Now he's being able to contribute more and more with the bat, and we need that. He squared the ball up pretty well. I'm happy for him."

On the team's performance...
"Overall we played well. With runners in scoring position, we had a chance. We just don't perform and sacrifice ourselves. I think we are all just trying to do too much at the plate. We just are not sacrificing ourselves the way we should to get runs scored."

On his first collegiate home run...
"It felt great. I'm just trying to square balls up and stay consistent up at the plate. That was my struggle last year. I just didn't stay consistent. I was hitting balls all over the place. I'm just trying to stay consistent and square balls up and stay within myself."

How he feels behind the plate with two starts under his belt...
"I feel good. I'm getting used to the pitchers day by day just like last year. There is still some stuff I have to work on with them. I feel more comfortable every day back there."

Where the team goes from here heading into the tournament...
"I think the biggest thing for us is to compete offensively. Pitchers have been throwing well enough to keep us in ball games, so we just have to compete offensively and sacrifice ourselves. With runners on first and second, or a runner on second, we just need to get him over and score him. We just need to compete."

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