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Offense carries Blue Raiders in 11-1 victory

Adkins improves to 3-0 on the season

March 1, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Hunter Adkins pitched seven scoreless innings and the Blue Raiders tallied 11 hits to dismantle Kennesaw State, 11-1, on Friday afternoon at Reese Smith Jr. Field. 

Adkins (3-0) allowed six hits in seven scoreless innings of work and struck out five to earn the win and remain perfect after three starts in the 2013 season.

Centerfielder Ryan Stephens was 2-for-3 at the plate and had three RBI to lead the Blue Raiders. Additionally, Johnny Thomas was 2-for-4 on the day and crossed the plate three times while Trent Miller was 1-for-2 with one RBI and tacked on two runs. 

Middle Tennessee (7-2) struck early when Miller doubled to left field to score Thomas all the way from first. The Blue Raiders left the first inning with two hits and one run already on the board.

In the fifth inning MT loaded the bases with one out, and scored a run when Trevor Haggard hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Heath Slatton in from third. 

Slatton stepped into the designated hitter role for the second time this season and made the most of his opportunity. The true freshman recorded his first run, his first hit and his first two RBI in a Blue Raider uniform. 

MT got its bats going again in the sixth, when Slatton's RBI single scored Miller from third. Stephens came to the plate later in the inning with three runners on and cracked a bases-clearing double to right center to put the Blue Raiders up 6-0. 

In the seventh inning Jake Ellison drove a sacrifice fly to right field and Thomas crossed the plate. Slatton notched his second RBI of the game when he grounded out to second base allowing Miller to add another run for MT.

The Blue Raiders would go on to add three more runs in the eighth inning to end their scoring spree against the Owls.

Kennesaw State (6-4) tallied its lone run of the afternoon in the eighth inning when Bo Way singled up the middle and Jacob Bruce touched home to end the shutout. 

Travis Dean (1-2) took the loss after tossing 5.1 innings for the Owls and giving up five hits and four runs while facing 23 batters. 

Johnathan Frebis (1-0) heads to the mound for the Blue Raiders in game two of the series tomorrow. Frebis will look to pick up his second win of the season with the first pitch at Reese Smith Jr. Field slated for 2 p.m.

HEAD COACH JIM MCGUIRE

On today's game...
"It was a great day. Especially when you see we had 11 runs on 11 hits. We've struggled to get the big hit at the right time this year, but Ryan Stephens had a big double to open things up."

On Hunter Adkins' performance...
"He's been great for us, especially having to deal with the tough conditions he has had to so far. He's been a workhorse this year and that says a lot about his character. He was an 18-rounder (in the MLB draft) and turned it down to come back to school, so he's got something to prove. We finally got him some run support, which always helps too."

On the defense...
"They made some really good plays. Robert is getting more comfortable over at third base. He made the bad play at Tennessee Tech to start the game Tuesday, but since he's been really solid and made some big plays today that saved us."

SENIOR PITCHER HUNTER ADKINS

On how the season's going so far...
"I'm not surprised. That's what I want to do. Today I got a lot of help from the defense too. I gave up six hits and it was huge to have the defense to play as well as they did today. Our offense was big too getting 11 runs."

On not allowing an extra base hit tonight...
"That's kind of the pitching and defense working together. We made some great plays in the field, and those extra base hits are what we want to avoid."

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