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MT & Charlotte to play Friday night game, Saturday doubleheader

Teams square off Friday at 6, Saturday at 1

March 14, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (5-10, 1-2 C-USA) hosts its first-ever Conference USA weekend series when the 49ers of Charlotte (3-10-1, 0-3 C-USA) come to Reese Smith, Jr. Field for a three-game set.

The two teams will play a single game Friday at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. There will be no game on Sunday due to expected inclement weather in the midstate.

MT looks to snap a three-game slide, having most recently fallen to No. 26 Tennessee, 2-0, on Tuesday night at Reese Smith, Jr. Field. Junior LF Jared Allen tallied his sixth multi-hit game of the year in the defeat, while junior 2B Austin Bryant was aboard three times without the benefit of a hit, walking twice and being hit by a pitch.

Junior LHP Nathan Foriest gave the Blue Raiders a career-high five innings, while holding the Volunteers to two runs. The outing marked the third time this year Foriest has gone four or more innings while holding his opponent to two runs or less.

Charlotte enters the weekend having played one midweek game, a win over VCU on Tuesday. The 49ers game against Liberty on Wednesday was rained out. Charlotte was 0-9-1 in its last 10 prior to the VCU win, including a sweep at the hands of FIU in the first weekend of conference play.

Duane Hickey and John Callow have the call on 92.5 FM WMOT2, with audio, a webstream, and live stats available online at goblueraiders.com.

NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):

BACKING ZAC
MT has scored 8.8 runs per game in the first four starts of the year for senior LHP Zac Curtis, winning all of them. Curtis earned wins against Dayton (Feb. 21) and Kent State (Feb. 28), while getting a no-decision at Kennesaw State (Feb. 15) and UAB (March 7).

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Ten of MT's first 15 games of the year have been decided by two or fewer runs, including each of the last seven. The Blue Raiders are 4-6 in those 10 games, including a 3-3 mark in one-run games.

POWER OUTAGE
The Blue Raiders have not homered over their past five games, after hitting three in as many days against Kent State from Feb. 28-March 2. In addition, MT has held opponents without a homer over the last eight games, having not given up a long ball since Feb. 23 vs. Indiana State.

FORIEST FIRE
Junior LHP Nathan Foriest has made three appearances in 2014 of four or more innings pitched with two runs or fewer allowed. Foriest surrendered one run on two hits in a four-inning start vs. Tennessee Tech on Feb. 18, before tossing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on March 1 against Kent State. Foriest pitched a career-high five innings on Tuesday vs. Tennessee, holding the Volunteers to two runs.

WALK THIS WAY
Senior OF Jake Ellison has drawn 10 walks through 15 games, after getting on base on a walk just 12 times in 52 games in 2013. Ellison reached base four times via the free pass during the Feb. 15 doubleheader at Kennesaw State.

KING KALEB
Freshman Kaleb King has recorded four plate appearances in his freshman year, and has reached base in three of them. King doubled and walked vs. Indiana State on Feb. 23 before drawing a pinch-hit walk in the ninth inning on Tuesday night vs. Tennessee.

UP NEXT: LIPSCOMB
The Blue Raiders return to action when they travel up I-24 to Lipscomb for a Tuesday night contest against the Bisons at 6 p.m. It will be the first of two meetings in eight days between MT and Lipscomb, as the Bisons will make a return trip to Murfreesboro on March 25.

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