MT hosts Memphis for two-game set
Blue Raiders & Tigers clash Tuesday and Wednesday at 6 p.m.March 31, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (12-14, 7-5 C-USA) closes out a six-game homestand with a two-game midweek set against Memphis (16-11, 2-4 American) on Tuesday and Wednesday at Reese Smith, Jr. Field, with both games beginning at 6 p.m.
The Blue Raiders are coming off a series win over No. 10 Rice, taking two of three from the Owls over the weekend. Middle Tennessee won Friday's game 3-2 and Sunday's contest 8-5. The Raiders have now won five of six overall, and six of seven at the friendly confines of Reese Smith, Jr. Field.
Senior LHP Zac Curtis was named Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Week after a complete game win over Rice on Friday, holding the Owls to one earned run while striking out seven. Middle Tennessee is now 6-1 in Curtis' seven starts.
Dustin Delgado continued his production this weekend out of the leadoff spot, where he has started all 26 games. Delgado went 6-for-12 in the series against Rice, including a 3-for-4, two run, two RBI performance in Sunday's finale.
Memphis dropped two of three over the weekend in American Athletic Conference play on the road at No. 17 Houston. The Tigers are hitting .260 on the year, using an aggressive approach on the basepaths, where they are 46-of-70 in stolen base attempts through 27 games. On the mound, Memphis has recorded a 3.46 team ERA while holding teams to a .243 average against.
The two teams split the season series last year in Memphis, with the Blue Raiders picking up a 2-1 win on March 26 before falling 6-4 the following day.
Junior RHP Matt Blackham (0-1, 4.67) will start for the Blue Raiders on Tuesday against LHP Ryan Garner (0-1, 4.84). Junior LHP Nathan Foriest (0-3, 7.48) will oppose RHP Dylan Toscano (2-1, 5.09) on Wednesday.
Dick Palmer and John Callow will have the call for both games on the Blue Raider Network at 92.5 WMOT2 and goblueraiders.com, with the broadcasts beginning at 5:45.
Following the midweek series, Middle Tennessee will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. for a weekend Conference USA series against Southern Miss. The teams will play Friday, April 4 at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 5 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, April 6 at 1:30 p.m. Sunday's game will be nationally-televised on FOX Sports 1.
NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):
GIVE THE 'PEN A RING
Sophomore RHP Garrett Ring has been an integral part of the Blue Raider staff since moving to the bullpen on Feb. 28. Ring has recorded a 1.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in eight relief appearances this year, and notched his first career save on Sunday vs. No. 10 Rice.
RAINING ON YOUR RANKING
Middle Tennessee has played five games against teams ranked in the top-10 of the Baseball America poll at Reese Smith, Jr. Field since the beginning of the 2013 season, going 3-2 in those games. The Blue Raiders knocked off No. 2 Vanderbilt on March 20, 2013, before taking two of three from No. 10 Rice this weekend.
TWO BASES ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Senior 1B Trent Miller's double on Sunday moved him into sole possession of sixth place on the Blue Raiders' all-time doubles list with 52. Miller passed three other Blue Raiders with 51 - George Zimmermann, Mudcat Brewer and Blake McDade. Next up on the list are Jeff Beachum and Rawley Bishop, who both doubled 57 times during their time in Murfreesboro.
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 has a 1.89 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over his first three starts.
SETTING THE TABLE
Junior SS Dustin Delgado has reached base in 24 of 26 games to begin 2014, while serving as the leadoff hitter and shortstop in all of them.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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