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Blue Raiders fall to ECU in pitchers' duel

Curtis fans six in complete game loss

April 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics

PHOTO GALLERY

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Middle Tennessee fell 1-0 to East Carolina in a pitching duel that featured two of Conference USA's best hurlers on Thursday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Blue Raiders (18-20, 8-8 C-USA) threatened in the ninth with a pair of hits. Trent Miller singled and Jake Ingold walked to add pressure to ECU closer Ryan Williams. Michael Adkins roped a two-out single to right field, sending Miller on his way to home from third. Miller was tagged out at home plate to end the game by the catcher Eric Tyler, who caught a throw from right fielder Ian Townsend. East Carolina improved to 23-15 overall and 10-6 in C-USA play.

MT's Zac Curtis (5-2) threw his third complete game this season, giving up just one earned run on seven hits in 102 pitches thrown. Curtis fanned six batters on Thursday for 87 strikeouts on the season. ECU All-American Jeff Hoffman (3-3) struckout a career-high 16 with three hits allowed in eight frames. Williams picked up his fourth save of the year for the Pirates.

Adkins led the Blue Raider offense with a 2-for-4 evening. Leadoff hitter Dustin Delgado also plated a multi-hit game with a single and double. Ingold reached on twice with a pair of walks. MT was held to five hits total. ECU notched a run on seven hits with one error. 

In the fifth inning, East Carolina put its first two runners on to make a scoring threat. Dylan Brown scored off a Townsend lineout to give the Pirates' their lone run of the game.

The Blue Raiders made a scoring threat in the fifth. Adkins singled and Austin Bryant reached on base with a fielding error. However, ECU forced two more outs to end the inning. MT then threatened again with a pair of runners on in the ninth. Miller was tagged out at home plate to end the game.

Friday will feature a doubleheader due to expected inclement weather in the area on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT with the second game following approximately 45 minutes later. RHP Paul Mittura (2-2, 3.59 ERA) takes the mound in game one, followed by LHP Johnathan Frebis (3-3, 4.43 ERA) in game two. Both contests will air locally on WMOT 89.5 FM and GoBlueRaiders.com.

NOTES: 

Ryan Stephens made his 163rd consecutive start, passing Mudcat Brewer for fifth all-time ... Michael Adkins recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the year ... Dustin Delgado managed his 12th multi-hit game this season ... Zac Curtis now has 87 strikeouts on the year, including 54 in league games ... Cutis has thrown six or more strikeouts in nine of his 10 outings ... He has now allowed more than one run in his last three starts.

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