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Raiders swept by Southern Miss, 7-0 and 7-6

MT falls to 8-7 in C-USA

April 5, 2014 · @MTAthletics

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team was swept by Conference USA foe Southern Miss in a doubleheader Saturday at Pete Taylor Park, falling 7-0 in game one and 7-6 in game two. With the losses, the Blue Raiders fall to 14-17 and 8-7 in Conference USA, while the Golden Eagles improve to 19-14 and 8-4 in C-USA.

Senior Trent Miller led the Blue Raiders with three hits in the doubleheader, while senior Ryan Stephens drove in two runs. Junior Dustin Delgado walked four times between the two games.

Middle Tennessee was stymied in the first game by Southern Miss right-hander Conor Fisk, who kept the Blue Raiders off-balance through eight innings by mixing his pitches and locations en route to an 11-strikeout performance while holding MT off the scoreboard.

Southern Miss picked up two runs in the second on a two-out double before adding two more in the fourth on an error. The Golden Eagles tacked on three more in the seventh on a Matt Durst home run off the scoreboard in left-center.

Senior Paul Mittura went seven innings for the Blue Raiders in the defeat, surrendering seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out two. Mittura recorded 12 ground ball outs.

The Blue Raiders jumped ahead first in game two with some help from the Golden Eagles. MT loaded the bases on two walks and a single to open the game before a pair of strikeouts. Junior Jake Ingold then hit a slow roller to second that was fielded and fired onto first with the pitcher covering, who could not get the footwork right. Delgado scored easily, with senior Hank LaRue also scoring from second on some heads-up baserunning.

The Golden Eagles would tie the game with two in the bottom of the frame before the Blue Raiders answered back. Senior Jake Ellison led off the inning with a double before advancing to third when Delgado reached on an error. With two outs and Miller batting, Ellison scored on a passed ball to give MT a 3-2 lead. Southern Miss would score three times in the bottom of the frame to take a 5-3 advantage.

Middle Tennessee would tie the game in the fourth with a pair of runs. LaRue led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a Miller double. LaRue would come home on an RBI groundout by Stephens before Miller tied the game by scoring on a wild pitch.

The Blue Raiders would take the lead in the sixth by capitalizing on another Southern Miss miscue. Miller struck out to begin the inning, but reached on a wild pitch. With a 3-2 count on Stephens, Miller was set in motion and Stephens hit a ball into the left field corner to score Miller for a 6-5 lead.

Southern Miss would score twice in the bottom of the inning with two outs, tying the game on a single and taking the final lead of the game on a wild pitch.

Junior Matt Blackham was charged with the loss in relief, going 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out a career-high eight.

The Blue Raiders return to action Tuesday when Middle Tennessee hosts Belmont at Reese Smith, Jr. Field at 6 p.m.

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