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Blue Raiders look for season sweep of No. 2 Vanderbilt Tuesday

First pitched slated for 6:30 p.m. at Hawkins Field

April 1, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team heads to Nashville for a mid-week matchup with the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores. First pitch for the contest is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Field.

MT is coming off a tough series defeat against the Troy Trojans over the weekend. The Blue Raiders (16-14, 3-6) have a quick turnaround before they load the buses and make the short drive to Nashville for their second matchup this season with the Commodores.

Vanderbilt (25-4, 8-1) currently leads the all-time series with the Blue Raiders, 55-24. The Blue Raiders snapped a seven game losing streak two weeks ago when Vanderbilt visited Reese Smith Jr. Field and MT defeated the No. 2 Commodores, 4-1.

Jordan Cooper (2-1) heads to the mound for MT and will look to repeat his efforts from the previous outing against the Commodores. Cooper earned the start and went 4.2 strong innings, allowing just three hits and no earned runs.

The Blue Raiders were able to tally eight hits and drive in four runs en route to the victory over the No. 2 team. A three-run first inning for MT set the tone for the rest of the game. Ryan Ford had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run.

Centerfielder Ryan Stephens currently leads the Blue Raiders this season with a .336 (37-for-110) average. Stephens made his 100th consecutive start on Sunday at Troy.

Vanderbilt is on a six-game winning streak with their last loss coming March 22 at home against Florida. The Commodores are fresh off a series sweep against Tennessee over the weekend at Hawkins Field.

With their 8-1 mark in conference play, Vanderbilt currently sits at the top of the SEC East and is tied with LSU for first place in the overall standings.

Second baseman Tony Kemp continues to be the force at the plate for Vanderbilt with his .380 (41-for-108) average and 29 runs scored this season. The Blue Raiders found a way to limit Kemp during their last meeting, handing him a season-high two strikeouts on his way to a 0-for-4 day at the plate.

Centerfielder Connor Harrell provides the power in the lineup for the Commodores with a .286 average and a .535 slugging percentage. His five home runs and 34 RBI are both team-highs.

Righthander Tyler Ferguson will head to the hill for the Commodores, bringing a 3.00 ERA and 2-0 record into Tuesday's contest.

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