Blue Raiders' rally comes up short against WKU

Ford goes 3-for-5 with two RBI on the day

March 15, 2013 · @MTAthletics

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Middle Tennessee led 4-0 in the fourth, but WKU rallied for six runs to capture the 6-5 win on Friday night at Nick Denes Field.

Shortstop Ryan Ford led the Blue Raiders with a 3-for-5 day, including two RBI, while leftfielder Trent Miller was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

MT (11-7, 0-1 SBC) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. First baseman Hank LaRue singled then scored from first when Miller drilled a two-out double to the right-center gap.

The Blue Raiders pushed three more runs across in the fourth for the 4-0 lead. Michael Adkins and Ryan Stephens singled to get things going, and Jake Ellison's bunt resulted in a single to load the bases. Robert Lawrence followed with the fourth straight single to drive in a run before Ford ripped a single to the leftfield corner to plate a couple.

The Blue Raiders forced WKU starter Tanner Perkins from the game after four in favor of Brennan Pearson (1-0). Perkins gave up four runs on 11 hits, but it was Pearson who would pick up the victory with four innings of two-hit ball.

First baseman Ryan Huck put WKU (8-9, 1-0 SBC) on the board in the fourth then gave the Hilltoppers the lead in the fifth with a pair of home runs. Huck hit a two-run shot in the fourth to left-center and went opposite field for a three-run blast in the fifth to give WKU a 5-4 lead.

MT starter Hunter Adkins (3-2) would exit after the sixth, with five runs on five hits to his credit. Joey McClung closed out the final two innings for MT, allowing one run on three hits.

WKU added an insurance run in the eighth using a trio of base-hits and a sacrifice bunt for the two-run cushion.

MT rallied for a run in the ninth after a leadoff double from Ford and sacrifice fly from Miller, but the Blue Raiders stranded the tying run at third to end the contest.

The two teams will square off in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. The second game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.

On scoring early...
"We had a lot of opportunities. I thought we established ourselves pretty good early in the game offensively. We were able to put some pressure on them and create some things. We had a bunch of opportunities, left a lot of men stranded and couldn't get the big hit when we needed it."

On getting bunt hits...
"We put ourselves in position and did what we wanted to do, but we couldn't get over the hump and break the game open. We had a chance to break the game open in those middle innings and just didn't do it."

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