Grand Slams Power 13-3 MT Win Over SMSMarch 16, 2002 · MT Media Relations
Two Blue Raider grand slams coupled with John Williams' best outing of the season led the Blue Raiders to a 13-3 walloping of Southwest Missouri, evening the series at one game each.
Middle Tennessee (11-5) got off to a good start in the second inning. DH Josh Archer singled with one out and Doug Kunicki followed with his own base hit to give the Blue Raiders runners at first and second. Jason Howarth was hit by a pitch to load the bases, bringing catcher Troy Harp to the plate for the first time this season.
Harp, who was starting his first game of the season after missing the first 13 games with a broken wrist, delivered with a long blast over the left field wall to give the Blue Raiders a 4-0 advantage.
SMS (8-3) would rally for three runs in the top of the third. Two errors and a walk set the stage for Jeremy Isenhower to clear the bases and cut the Blue Raider lead to one.
From that point it was all Middle Tennessee.
The final nail came in the bottom of the seventh. The Blue Raiders took advantage of the only SMS miscue in the game to bring a run across with one out. Chuck Akers drew a two out walk with the bases loaded to force Archer across with the second run. Nate Jaggers dealt the big blow to the Bears with a grand slam of his own to give his club six runs in the inning.
Williams was lifted with two outs in the top of the ninth after the Bears worked the bases loaded, but freshman reliever Danny Borne got Shaun Marcum to ground out to second to end the game.
The unearned runs would be the only ones allowed by Middle Tennessee starter John Williams. He allowed only eight hits while striking out a career high 10 batters in the contest while running his record to 3-0 on the season.
Bear starter David Bader took the loss, dropping to 2-2 on the year.
The Blue Raiders continued their offensive assault on the competition in the game. The team posted 14 hits, giving them 29 over the two game series. The team has also continued to score runs in bunches, plating 24 against the Bears.
Akers continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-3 in the game. Archer was 3-for-4 while Marshall Nisbett went 3-for-5.
SMS was paced by Jeremy Isenhower's 2-for-4 day.
SMS and Middle Tennessee will conclude the series tomorrow at Reese Smith Field. The first pitch of the game is set for 1 PM. The action can be heard on WMTS 88.3 FM or via the internet at GoBlueRaiders.com.
NOTES: Troy Harp and Nate Jaggers, the Blue Raiders with grand slams on Saturday, attended the same high school (Pleasure Ridge Park) in Louisville, KY - The only MT extra base hits in the game were the homers - Steve Peterson is now 2-9 against SMS - the Blue Raiders are now hitting .342 as a team - MT is averaging 9.1 runs per game - The Blue Raiders haven't lost a game this season that has been broadcast on the radio (3-0).
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