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MT hosts Lipscomb Tuesday night

6 p.m. first pitch at Reese Smith, Jr. Field

March 24, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (9-13, 5-4 C-USA) returns home to face Lipscomb (16-9, 5-1 A-Sun) Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the second-straight midweek meeting between the two teams.

The Blue Raiders return to Reese Smith, Jr. Field after four straight on the road, winning the final contest of a three-game weekend series at Tulane after dropping a midweek showdown at Lipscomb.

Junior DH Jake Ingold sparked the offense against the Green Wave on Sunday, hitting a two-run double and a go-ahead homer in a 5-4 victory. Junior RHP Kooper Kessler tossed five scoreless, no-hit innings of relief, entering in the fifth and holding the Green Wave off the board the rest of the way.

VIDEO
Baseball vs. Lipscomb
Lipscomb took the meeting in Nashville last Tuesday by a final of 9-3. The Bisons struck for eight runs in a wild second inning and led the rest of the way. The Bisons swept Atlantic Sun foe Kennesaw State last weekend.

Junior RHP Matt Blackham will get the start for the Blue Raiders, opposed by RHP Ian Martinez-McGraw for the Bisons.

Chip Walters and John Callow will have the call on the Blue Raider Network at 92.5 WMOT2 and goblueraiders.com beginning at 5:45. A free video stream will also be available online.

NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):

GOOD AS GOLD
Junior IF Jake Ingold went 6-for-15 in four games last week, including a pair of multi-hit games on Saturday and Sunday at Tulane. In the series finale in New Orleans, Ingold hit a game-tying, two-run double in the fourth before putting the Blue Raiders ahead for good in the seventh with his first home run for Middle Tennessee.

KOOPER KESSLER WITH THE KO
Junior RHP Kooper Kessler had a stellar outing in the series finale against Tulane on Sunday. Kessler went a career-high five innings, striking out a career-best five batters. He retired the first 12 Green Wave batters he faced before surrendering a leadoff walk in the ninth that he stranded to close out the ballgame. In all, Kessler threw five innings of scoreless, hitless baseball to pick up the win.

START ME UP
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. Mittura started again on Saturday at Tulane, throwing six innings while holding the Green Wave to one run allowed.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Fourteen of MT's first 22 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 6-8 in those 14 games, including a 5-4 mark in one-run games.

KING KALEB
Freshman Kaleb King has reached base in 12 of 29 plate appearances to begin his first year in Murfreesboro. King has made six starts on the year for the Blue Raiders, five as the designated hitter and one in right field.

EVEN STEPHENS
Senior OF Ryan Stephens has started 147 consecutive games in center field for the Blue Raiders entering the weekend, a streak 102 games longer than the next-longest streak of consecutive starts at the same position. Senior 1B Trent Miller has made 45 straight starts at first.

UP NEXT: RICE
Middle Tennessee hosts No. 10 Rice for a three-game series at Reese Smith, Jr. Field this weekend. The Blue Raiders and Owls will clash Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at noon.

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