Blue Raider rally in ninth falls short at FIU

Delgado collects two hits and two RBI

May 11, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MIAMI - Middle Tennessee's ninth-inning comeback fell short, as the Blue Raiders dropped a 6-4 contest to FIU on Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders (26-25, 14-13 Conference USA) took a run lead in the first. However, FIU's (35-15, 15-12 C-USA) four-spot in the fifth inning kept the Panthers ahead for the remainder of the contest. MT went empty handed after a loaded bases threat in the eighth. 

However, the Raiders did respond with three runs in the ninth. Three consecutive outs clinched the win for FIU. Middle Tennessee scored four runs on nine hits and one error in the game. FIU tallied six runs on nine hits with two miscues in the victory. MT remains in the top-8 in league play with next weekend's final series against Marshall remaining.

Miami native Dustin Delgado led Middle Tennessee with a 2-for-4 day collecting two RBI, a double, a run and a walk. Jake Ingold and Trent Miller chipped in with two hits each in the contest.

Starter Johnathan Frebis (3-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. FIU's Chris Mourelle (9-3) notched his ninth victory with just an earned run allowed on five hits. Robby Kalaf earned his first save with a no-hit final inning.

MT struck first when Miller laced a single down the left field line, scoring Delgado. The Panthers found the equalizing run with a solo roundtripper off the bat of Alec Beyersdorf.

FIU pulled together four runs on four hits in the fifth inning. Roche Woodard scored the go-ahead run. Tyler Hibbert, Julius Gaines and Josh Anderson added three more in the frame to stretch FIU's advantage to four. Hibbert tallied his second run in the game with a sac fly from Edwin Rios in the seventh.

The Blue Raiders had an opportunity in the eighth, loading the bases. A force groundout ended the scoring threat. Again in the ninth, Middle Tennessee jammed the bases in the ninth inning. Delgado roped a two-run double to left field, narrowing MT's deficit to 6-3. A Bryant groundout allowed Brad Jarreau to score MT's fourth run. A fly out and a pop out would secure the win for the Panthers.

MT relievers Garrett Ring and Matt Blackham finished the final 3.1 innings. Ring allowed a run on three hits in two stanzas, while Blackham pitched 1.1 hitless innings.

Middle Tennessee closed out a successful weekend by taking 2-of-3 from the Panthers. The Raiders visit Belmont on Tuesday for the final midweek game this season. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. in Nashville.

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