Allen belts four hits in series-clinching win over FIU

Five Raiders collect multiple hits

May 10, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MIAMI - Left fielder Jared Allen tallied four hits in Middle Tennessee's explosive 9-6 victory over FIU on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Raiders clinched the weekend series and look for the sweep on Sunday.

MT (26-24, 14-12 Conference USA) did most of its damage in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring six runs during that stretch. In total, the Raiders posted nine runs on 14 hits despite committing two errors. The Panthers (34-15, 14-12 C-USA) fell into a tie with the Raiders for fifth, notching six runs on 12 hits and having one error.

Allen went a triple shy of the cycle with a single, double, and homer in the win. He hammered his league-leading ninth home run of the year in the fifth inning to give the Blue Raiders a 6-3 advantage. Allen finished the day 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI. Catcher Michael Adkins hit 2-of-3 with two runs and a walk. Jake Ingold drilled two RBI doubles in three at bats, while also drawing a pair of walks. Infielders Hank LaRue and Dustin Delgado posted two hits apiece on Saturday.

Senior Trent Miller laced his 63rd career double in the fifth inning, tying him with Clay Snellgrove for second in program history. Center fielder Ryan Stephens set a new school record with his 175th consecutive start, passing Phillip Edwards.

Reliever Cody Tollison (4-0) picked up his fourth win with two runs allowed in three innings. Sophomore Kooper Kessler earned his second save, holding the Panthers scoreless in the final two two frames. Starter Paul Mittura had a no decision after allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits in four innings pitched.

The Blue Raiders roughed up FIU starter Cody Crouse (4-3), notching seven runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings. Second baseman Edwin Rios paced the Panthers with two hits, two runs and two runs-batted-in.

Austin Bryant brought home the Raiders' first run off an Allen RBI single in the first inning. The Panthers responded with runs from Tyler Hibbert and Rios to take a 2-1 lead. FIU extended its lead to two after scoring a run off a fielding error.

MT chipped away in the fourth. LaRue's sacrifice fly drove home Allen. On the next play, Ingold doubled to left field to score Stephens. In the fifth inning, the Miami native Delgado led off with a single. Miller belted his league-leading 21st double to score Delgado. Allen found his Conference USA leading ninth home run to left field, giving Middle Tennessee a 6-3 lead. Ingold recorded his second RBI double of the day to give the Blue Raiders a 7-3 lead.

The Panthers found their fourth run thanks to a sac groundout from Rios that scored Julius Gaines. MT added its eighth run of the day with a RBI single from LaRue, scoring Allen for the third time.

FIU made a charging comeback in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Rios and Zach Sweety scored two runs in the eighth to make it an 8-6 contest. Delgado's line-drive catch ended the FIU threat.

In the ninth inning, Adkins scored his second run off a FIU wild pitch to give MT a three-run edge.

The Blue Raiders can pick up its first sweep since Charlotte when MT lefty Johnathan Frebis (3-4, 4.37 ERA) takes on FIU freshman Chris Mourelle (8-2, 1.76 ERA) on Sunday. Fans can listen to the Noon CT first pitch on WMOT 89.5 FM or watch online at GoBlueRaiders.com.

NOTES: CF Ryan Stephens set the school record with his 175th consecutive start on Saturday, passing the previous mark of 174 held by Phillip Edwards ... Trent Miller tied Clay Snellgrove for second all-time with his 63rd double in the fifth inning ... Miller leads C-USA with 21 doubles ... Jared Allen belted his league-best ninth home run in the fifth to left field ... MT picked up its first road conference series win since upending South Alabama in April 2012.

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