Raiders host Tennessee Tech in home opener
$1 tickets for 3:00 first pitch TuesdayFebruary 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team opens an eight-game homestand with a Tuesday matinee against old foe Tennessee Tech. MT kicks off its home slate after dropping two of three at Kennesaw State this past weekend. Senior 1B Trent Miller was 5-for-10 to lead the Blue Raiders offensively, while junior OF Jared Allen and junior C Michael Adkins each went 4-for-11. MT took the opener on Saturday before falling in the final two games of the season.
The Blue Raiders look to extend a nine-game winning streak over the Golden Eagles, who haven't won in the series since 2008. The two teams were members of the OVC until MT joined the Sun Belt for the 2001 baseball season. The Golden Eagles took two of three this past weekend at South Alabama to open their 2014 season.
Junior LHP Nathan Foriest is the probable starter for the Blue Raiders, while freshman RHP Evan Fraliex is expected to start for the Golden Eagles. The game will be broadcast on 92.5 FM WMOT2 and at GoBlueRaiders.com with Dick Palmer and John Callow on the call.
Tickets for Tuesday's home opener are $1. Hot dogs will also be available for $1, while the first 250 fans through the door will receive a 2014 baseball schedule magnet.
NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):
2013: RAIDERS SWEEP GOLDEN EAGLES
MT and TTU played a home-and-home series in 2013, with the Raiders taking both meetings. On March 26 in Cookeville, the Blue Raiders used six pitchers and a late-inning rally to get by the Golden Eagles, 9-7. The teams met again on April 9 in Murfreesboro, with MT scoring six in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh en route to a 12-9 victory. Michael Adkins went 6-for-8 between the two meetings.
Senior RHP Paul Mittura tied the program save record on Saturday at Kennesaw State. His 16 career saves for the Blue Raiders tie him with George Oleksik, who pitched at MT from 1993-1996.
WALK THIS WAY
Senior OF Jake Ellison reached base four times via the free pass during Saturday's doubleheader at Kennesaw State. Ellison drew 12 walks in 52 games in 2013.
Twelve players made their Blue Raider debuts in the opening-weekend series at Kennesaw State. Junior SS Dustin Delgado made three starts at short, while junior OF Jared Allen started three games in left, Junior IF/C Jake Ingold started two games at DH and one at third base, and freshman C Will Schnure made one start behind the plate.
Freshman OF/RHP Kaleb King pinch-hit and stayed in the game defensively at first base on Sunday, while freshman LHP/1B Kevin Dupree was utilized as a pinch-hitter and freshman IF Aaron Aucker entered defensively at second base.
In addition, five Blue Raiders made their first pitching appearances as relievers this weekend: Junior RHP Matt Blackham, freshman RHPs Caleb Smith, Will Small and Reid Clements, and freshman LHP Brent Stockstill.
CURTIS, FREBIS RECOGNIZED BY PERFECT GAME
Senior Zac Curtis and junior Johnathan Frebis made the Perfect Game Top 100 list for their respective classes in the rankings released this week. Curtis was named the No. 53 senior in the country, while Frebis was ranked as the No. 100 junior.
MT TO PLAY SOUTHERN MISS ON FS1 APRIL 6
The Blue Raiders will face Southern Miss on Sunday, April 6 in Hattiesburg, Miss. in a game nationally-televised on Fox Sports 1. The game will be the first nationally-televised regular season game in MT program history.
STEPHENS PRESEASON ALL-C-USA
Senior OF Ryan Stephens was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team after hitting .329 with 11 doubles, four triples and four homers in 2013, in addition to an .862 OPS and seven steals.
MT PICKED NINTH IN C-USA POLL
The Blue Raiders were selected ninth by C-USA coaches in the preseason poll. Rice finished first with 12 of 13 first-place votes, while Tulane garnered the other first-place selection.
Senior OF Ryan Stephens has started 128 consecutive games in center field for the Blue Raiders entering Tuesday's game, a streak that is 101 games longer than the next-longest streak of consecutive starts at the same position. Senior OF Jake Ellison has started 27 consecutive games in right field, while senior 1B Trent Miller has made 26 straight starts at first.
MT VS. SEC
The Blue Raiders went 4-1 against the SEC in 2013, with two wins over in-state foe Tennessee and one each over Vanderbilt and Auburn. MT will play four games against the SEC in 2014, playing home-and-home series against both Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
BATTLES FOR STATE SUPREMACY
In addition to four games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, MT will play home-and-home series against Tennessee Tech, Belmont, Lipscomb and Austin Peay, in addition to two home games vs. Memphis.
UP NEXT: MULE MIX CLASSIC
The Blue Raiders continue their eight-game homestand with three games this weekend as part of the Mule Mix Classic. MT will host Dayton on Friday at 3 p.m., Miami (Ohio) on Saturday at noon, and Indiana State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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