Four-run seventh backs Curtis, lifts Raiders to 6-2 win over Marshall
MT can clinch C-USA Championship berth FridayMay 15, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team scored four times with two outs in the seventh to support senior left-hander Zac Curtis' 12-strikeout outing in a 6-2 win over Marshall Thursday night at Reese Smith, Jr. Field. In the win, the Blue Raiders improve to 28-25 and 15-13 in Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd falls to 20-29 and 10-17 in C-USA.
Curtis went 7 2/3 innings in the victory, tying his career-high with a dozen punch outs. After surrendering two runs in the second inning, Curtis allowed just two baserunners from the third inning on. He improves to 8-3 on the year with an ERA of 1.85 and 130 strikeouts, moving him to second on the single-season strikeout list for the Blue Raiders.
Senior Trent Miller had a three-hit night for the Blue Raiders, including a two-run double that tied him with Nathan Hines for the program's all-time record in doubles with his 65th. Junior Michael Adkins also had three hits in the victory.
Marshall struck first with a line-drive homer by T.J. Diffenderfer to lead off the second. The Herd would push across another run in the second to take a 2-0 lead that would hold until the fourth.
The Blue Raiders would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth when a failed pickoff attempt at third base sailed up the left field line, scoring junior Jared Allen from third. Adkins would follow with a game-tying single to left, plating Stephens to make it 2-2.
Marshall would get two outs in the seventh before the Blue Raider offense awoke and put the game out of reach. With freshman Brad Jarreau on first and Adkins on third, junior Dustin Delgado ripped a single into right to put the Raiders on top 3-2.
MT would continue to build on the lead as the inning went on, scoring three more times. Senior Hank LaRue followed Delgado with an RBI single to center before Miller dropped a two-run double inside the right field line for the final 6-2 margin.
Matt Margaritonda was saddled with the loss for Marshall, falling to 2-7. Junior Kooper Kessler pitched 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief to close out the ballgame for the Blue Raiders.
With Florida Atlantic rained out Thursday, the Blue Raiders' magic number to clinch a spot in the Conference USA Championship is now just one. The Owls will play a doubleheader Friday beginning at noon CDT, with a loss in either game clinching a tournament berth for MT.
The Blue Raiders return to action at Reese Smith, Jr. Field Friday at 6 p.m. with senior right-hander Paul Mittura on the hill. Marshall will counter with right-hander Chase Boster.
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