Raiders open C-USA play at UAB

MT faces Blazers for three in Birmingham

March 6, 2014 · @MTAthletics

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (4-7) plays its first weekend of Conference USA play when the Blue Raiders take on UAB (11-2) for three games at Regions Field.

MT looks to erase the sting of a third-straight one-run loss, having fallen 4-3 to No. 6 Vanderbilt on Wednesday to conclude an eight-game homestand at Reese Smith, Jr. Field. This weekend's games will be played at the one-year-old Regions Field in Birmingham, which is also the home of the AA Southern League's Birmingham Barons.

The Blue Raiders won three of four to close out February, finishing with a 12-4 win over Kent State that kick-started the offensive output for junior LF Jared Allen. Over his last four games, Allen is 8-for-18 with seven RBI to raise his average to .317 for the year.

Senior LHP Zac Curtis enters his Friday start with a 2-0 record on the year, and has been helped by a tremendous amount of run support from his offense. The Blue Raiders have scored 10.3 runs per game in Curtis' three starts to this point, all of which have been wins.

UAB has hit .303 through 13 games, while scoring just under six runs per game. The Blazers have also gotten it done on the mound, tallying a 2.09 ERA while striking out 13.1 batters per nine innings. Chase Mallard, UAB's Friday starter, has been named C-USA Pitcher of the Week twice in the season's first three weeks.

The teams will play Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games will be on the Blue Raider Network at 92.5 FM WMOT2 and GoBlueRaiders.com with Dick Palmer and John Callow on the call.

NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):

The Blue Raider bullpen combined for seven scoreless innings in Tuesday's game vs. No. 6 Vanderbilt. Freshman RHP Will Small and sophomore RHP Heath Slatton each gave MT three shutout innings, while senior LHP Cody Tollison and sophomore RHP Garrett Ring combined for a scoreless ninth.

Junior SS Dustin Delgado has reached base in all 11 games to begin 2014, while serving as the leadoff hitter in all of them. Delgado is hitting .318 with a .385 on-base percentage.

Junior C Michael Adkins has played in 10 games in 2014, starting nine at catcher and one at DH. He has reached base in all of them, recording a .349 on-base percentage while hitting fifth in nine games and fourth in one. Adkins takes a six-game hitting streak into Friday's contest.

In nine games hitting ninth for the Blue Raiders, junior IF Austin Bryant has hit .429 with five RBI and five multi-hit games, including a three-hit showing vs. Tennessee Tech (Feb. 18).

UP NEXT: TENNESSEEThe Blue Raiders return home for their next four games, beginning with a non-conference tilt against Tennessee on Tuesday, March 11 at 6 p.m. MT will follow up the Tuesday contest with a three-game set vs. Charlotte at Reese Smith, Jr. Field from March 14-16.

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