MT travels to Lipscomb for Tuesday night game

Raiders look to win fourth straight

March 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics

NASHVILLE - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (8-10, 4-2 C-USA) travels up I-24 to Nashville for a Tuesday night non-conference tilt at Lipscomb (12-9, 2-1 A-Sun.)

MT is coming off a sweep of C-USA foe Charlotte this past weekend, averaging 7.3 runs per game in the three-game set against the 49ers.

The Blue Raiders hit four home runs in Saturday's second game, including two from senior OF Ryan Stephens. Senior 1B Trent Miller went 6-for-8 in Saturday's doubleheader with six RBI.

Senior RHP Paul Mittura made his first start of 2014 in Saturday's first game, tossing seven innings of two-run ball. Senior LHP Zac Curtis struck out nine or more batters for the third-straight outing on Friday night, as the Blue Raiders moved to 5-0 in his starts this year.

Lipscomb enters the midweek matchup after going 2-1 against Jacksonville last weekend. Austin Sistrunk leads the Bisons in hitting at .348, and is one of six players hitting .300 or better.

Junior LHP Nathan Foriest will get the start for the Blue Raiders, and will be opposed by Lipscomb freshman LHP John Pryor.

Dick Palmer and John Callow will have the call on the Blue Raider Network on 92.5 WMOT2 and at goblueraiders.com, while live stats will be available through Lipscomb's website.

NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):

MT has scored 8.4 runs per game in the first five 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 no-decisions at Kennesaw State (Feb. 15), at UAB (March 7) and vs. Charlotte (March 14).

Senior 1B Trent Miller enjoyed tremendous success at the plate during Saturday's doubleheader vs. Charlotte, going 6-for-8 with a home run and six RBI. For the weekend, Miller went 8-for-12 against the 49ers.

Senior RHP Paul Mittura - the Blue Raiders' all-time saves leader - started the first game of Saturday's doubleheader vs. Charlotte, giving MT seven innings of two-run ball in a 6-2 win over the 49ers. It was the first win since 2012 for Mittura, who has four saves on the season.

Eleven of MT's first 18 games of the year have been decided by two or fewer runs, including a stretch of eight straight to open March. The Blue Raiders are 5-6 in those 11 games, including a 4-3 mark in one-run games.

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 March 11 vs. Tennessee, holding the Volunteers to two runs.

The Blue Raiders return to Conference USA play with a three-game series at Tulane this Friday through Sunday in New Orleans. The Green Wave will host MT Friday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 23 at 1 p.m.

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