MT Falls in Extra Innings 8-5April 2, 2002 · MT Media Relations
The teams battled back and forth all night, but the Blue Raiders kept pecking away at the Tigers throughout the game. Middle Tennessee finally took the lead in the bottom of the seventh with a mammoth Josh Archer blast over the left field wall.
However, the Tigers wouldn't go quietly. Barrett Smith blasted a homer in the top of the eighth inning to knot the score at 5-5.
Middle Tennessee countered by sending right fielder Marshall Nisbett to the mound with one out in the frame and the Tullahoma native delivered the goods.
The Blue Raiders had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with a runner at third and two outs. Shortstop Jason Howarth scorched a liner into left field that had seemingly won the game, but a diving Josh Payne snared the ball inches from the turf to save the game.
The Blue Raiders had a chance again in the 11th inning. With runners at first and second with one out, the Blue Raiders could not deliver a decisive blow. All told, the Blue Raiders stranded a dozen baserunners in the contest.
Nisbett struck out seven Tigers in 3-2/3 innings, but left a fastball over the plate in the top of the 12th inning, giving Memphis an advantage that they would not relinquish. Memphis went on to score two more runs in the 12th to win the game 8-5.
Nisbett (0-1) was the hard-luck loser in the game while Joel Posey (2-4) picked up the win in relief.
Josh Archer turned in the biggest night for the Blue Raiders, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a homer and two RBIs. Kevin Suba, who started the game at first, was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run driven in.
The Blue Raiders and Tigers will conclude the season series Wednesday afternoon at Reese Smith Field with the first pitch scheduled for 3 PM.
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