Blue Raiders fall silent versus Xavier

MT tallies just five hits in 12-0 loss

March 9, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders dropped their third game in a row at Reese Smith Jr. Field on Saturday, falling to Xavier, 12-0.  

Johnathan Frebis (2-1) struggled to find his rhythm in the loss, allowing an uncharacteristic five runs on seven hits with one walk and no strikeouts.  Cody Tollison was a bright spot on the mound for MT, as he struck out four Xavier batters in 1.2 innings thrown.

Offensively, the Blue Raiders (9-5) managed just five hits while Xavier (5-7) racked up 17 base hits.  Michael Adkins was 1-for-2 in the game with a walk, while Dalton Henzman singled in a pint-hit situation.

Xavier jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, starting the game with two singles before Vinny Nittoli drove a 1-2 pitch down the right field line for a two-RBI triple.

The Musketeers tacked on another three runs in the third, starting the inning with four straight batters reaching safely, forcing Frebis out of the game. With Jordan Cooper on the mound, MT escaped the inning on a sacrifice fly and a 3-6-3 double play started by Hank LaRue.

Cooper finished the game with 3.2 innings pitched, five hits and three runs allowed.

In the fourth, Xavier manufactured a run on two hits, and scored two runs on three hits in the sixth.

MT put together just one legitimate threat in the game, as the squad loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but were unable to push across runs.  Adkins drew a walk to start the inning, and moved to second on a passed ball as Jake Ellison struck out swinging.  Ryan Stephens then reached on a fielders choice, as Adkins was thrown out at third.  

With two outs, Trevor Haggard drew a walk and Robert Lawrence singled, loading the bases for Ryan Ford.  Ford drove a 2-1 pitch deep to left field, but Xavier's Joe Forney tracked it down to end the inning.

 Heath Slatton entered the game in the sixth and threw 1.2 innings, allowing three hits, including a three-run home run in the eighth.  Tollison threw the final 1.2 innings of the game, giving up one run in the ninth.

All-in-all, the Blue Raiders stranded eight baserunners as Alex Westrick picked up the win for the Musketeers, throwing six full innings while striking out eight MT batters and allowing just three hits.

The three-game series concludes Sunday, March 10, as Zac Curtis will look to snap the Blue Raiders' three-game losing streak and improve his 2-1 record on the hill.  First pitched is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field.


Opening comments...
"We got off to a bad start again and this team right now is not equipped to make a comeback. Offensively we're struggling and when we get behind by two, three, four, five runs like we did, it takes us right out of our game. We can't play small ball, we can't move runners, we can't do anything like that.  We have to rely on our bats and right now the bats aren't there."

On getting better hitting this season...
"It's all about seeing the pitch out of the hand and not trying to chase too much and staying within yourself."

On Xavier pitching...
"Hats off to that kid. He pitched well, he kept us off balance. He threw a good fastball and change-up. He threw the occasional curve ball in there but that change-up today was his biggest pitch."


On positives from the game...
"You get different people in the game, you get some different looks today, that's about the only thing positive.  Some guys got in the game and we experimented a little more at the end."

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