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Raider bats come alive in 12-7 rout of Austin Peay

Austin Bryant and Ryan Stephens notch three-hit affairs

April 23, 2014 · @MTAthletics

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee used an explosive fourth inning to win 12-7 over Austin Peay on Wednesday evening at Raymond C. Hand Park.

The Blue Raiders (20-21) trailed 4-2 going into the fourth inning. MT posted seven runs in the fourth with two outs and never looked back to collect the victory over the Governors (16-25). The Raiders tallied 12 runs on 13 hits with one error, while APSU notched seven runs on 13 hits and two errors.

Three Raiders registered multi-hit games. Second baseman Austin Bryant reached on base five times with a three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. Ryan Stephens hit 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Additionally, Trent Miller finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in his 100th consecutive start. Bryant also drove in three runs on the evening. Catcher Michael Adkins went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI, a walk and a home run.

Nashville native Cody Tollison (2-0) picked up the win, allowing just two hits in two and a third innings pitched. Tollison has not allowed a run in his last nine and two-third innings thrown. Austin Peay's Jake Corum (1-1) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on a hit and two walks in a third of an inning pitched.

Austin Peay drew a walk and had three singles in the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Breadlau would score from an Alex Robles RBI. Rolando Gautier scored off a Blue Raider fielding error to take a two-run edge.

The Blue Raiders responded in the next half inning by loading the bases due to a walk and a couple of Austin Peay errors. Bryant made the Govs pay with a two RBI single to left field, tying the game at 2-2. APSU loaded the bases in the second, which ended the night for MT starter Heath Slatton. Gautier hit a two-out single that drove in two runs to give the Govs a 4-2 lead after two complete innings. Slatton finished the game with four earned runs and four walks in 1.2 innings pitched.

In the fourth inning, Middle Tennessee plated seven runs with two outs. Miller's two RBI single, drove in LaRue and Haggard to tie the game. Stephens singled up the middle to score Miller and LaRue, giving MT a 6-4 edge. Adkins inked his first homer of the season, a three run bomb, to left centerfield, for a five-run Middle Tennessee lead.

A stolen bag at home and a pinch-hit RBI single for added a pair of APSU runs in the sixth. Aaron Aucker's sac fly allowed Stephens to score the Raiders' 10th run of the evening. LaRue belted his third roundtripper of the year with a dinger in the eighth. Each team added a run in the final stanza, as MT won the contest 12-7.

Six Blue Raider pitchers saw action with Slatton getting the start and Tollison the victory. Garret Ring and Brent Stockstill both threw scoreless innings. Matt Blackham surrendered two earned runs on four hits in two innings, while Kooper Kessler allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts in the ninth. Austin Peay catcher Ridge Smith led the Governors with a 4-for-5 evening, scoring a run with an RBI.

Middle Tennessee returns home for the first time in two weeks with a Conference USA weekend series against Old Dominion. First pitch for Friday's contest is set for 6 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

NOTES: Heath Slatton made his first start of the season and the third of his career ... Ryan Stephens made his 166th consecutive start at RF, just one away from fourth all-time currently held by Rawley Bishop ... Michael Adkins earned his first homer of the year and fifth of his career in the fourth inning with a three-run bomb to right field ... The Blue Raiders' seven runs in the fourth inning were the second most of the season, just a run behind an eight-spot MT put up against Mississippi Valley in the second inning on April 12 ... Trent Miller moved into a tie for eighth all-time at MT with his two RBI in the fourth. He has 141 career RBI, tied with Josh Pride ... Garrett Ring made his first pitching appearance since April 2 ... Stephens' triple in the seventh was his eighth of his career, tying him for sixth all-time ... Hank LaRue hit his third homer of the year and the 12th of his career.

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