Blue Raiders Trip Memphis 8-4

March 12, 2002 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee, playing its third game in as many days, continued its hot hitting and played much tighter defense in defeating Memphis 8-4 at AutoZone Park on Tuesday night.

The Blue Raiders got good hitting and pitching performances in the contest, but perhaps the biggest story was that the team committed only one error in the contest after booting 19 plays in the previous three games. In fact, the team's lone error came on a failed pickoff attempt and not on a batted ball.

The Blue Raiders got started early in the game. The top of the first inning saw Middle Tennessee plate three runs on three hits, aided by two Memphis errors. Chuck Akers, began the game with a single and a stolen base before Nate Jaggers drew a walk. Justin Sims continued to swing the bat well with an RBI single that brought in Akers.

With runners at the corners, Brett Carroll hit a ball to shortstop Brent Dlugach that resulted in an error and brought Jaggers across. Josh Archer then put a ball in play that caused another Tiger miscue, but drove in Sims, giving the Blue Raiders a 3-0 advantage.

The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the first. A two out single from Kyle Scott started the rally and an Andy Gesell single drove Scott across. However, Barrett Smith got greedy and was cut down at the plate trying to stretch one more base out of the play.

The Blue Raiders struck again in the top of the second. Akers started the inning with a one out single followed by a two-run homer from Jaggers that gave the Blue Raiders a 5-1 lead.

After a scoreless top of the third, the Blue Raiders got one more run in the top of the fourth. Akers was the catalyst again with a one out double to right and Sims once again did the honors with an RBI single.

The Blue Raiders scoring onslaught would be halted for the next four innings. Memphis reliever Nick Steht, who replaced starter Daniel deArmas in the fifth, held the Blue Raiders to the minimum number of hitters for until Kevin Suba broke the streak with a single in the top of the eighth.

Steht worked out of the jam, but could not work his magic again in the ninth. Jaggers and Sims put together back-to-back singles in the top of the ninth that chased Steht from the game. Reliever Gabe Council came on to try and shut the door, but a fielder's choice and a Brett Carroll single plated two more runs for the Blue Raiders.

Memphis got a leadoff homer from Ryan Martin in the ninth, but the Blue Raiders were able to quell the Tiger uprising without further incident.

Germantown's Steven Kines (2-0), pitching in front of a hometown crowd, turned in another good outing, going 6-2/3 innings and picking up the win. Kines, who is making a strong bid for the third weekend starting slot, struck out four while walking only one during the game.

Freshman Chris Mobley turned in another solid relief outing, picking up his first career save by pitching the final 2-1/3 innings to preserve the win. Mobley equaled his career high with three strikeouts during his tenure.

Akers led the way offensively with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. Sims also put in three hits and drove in two runs.

The Tigers were paced by Dlugach and Scott, who each went 2-for-5.

The Blue Raiders and Tigers are slated to battle on Wednesday at 2 PM. The game, which will also be played at AutoZone Park, can be heard live on WMTS FM 88.3 or via the internet at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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