Johnson City, Tenn. (April 10, 2002) - After a 13-run loss to East Tennessee State last night, Middle Tennessee State turned the tables on the Bucs this afternoon at Cardinal Park, taking a 12-3 win and a split of the two-game series. The Blue Raiders broke open a close game with consecutive four-run innings in the fifth and sixth and improved to 20-13. ETSU fell to 11-20 with the loss.
MTSU started the scoring in the first, getting an unearned run off ETSU starter Mike Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) on a bases loaded groundout by Marshall Nisbett.
East Tennessee State answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back. With one out, Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.) singled and Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked to put two aboard. Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) doubled home Terry and Burklin scored on a groundout off the bat of Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) to make it 2-1.
The Blue Raiders came right back with a three-spot in the top of the second to take the lead for good. With two on and one out, Chuck Akers doubled to left center to score both runners. He then scored on a single by the next hitter, Nate Jaggers, and MTSU never looked back.
From there on East Tennessee State could not get anything going against MTSU starter Travis Horschel, who went eight innings, his longest stint of the season, yielding three runs on nine hits to pick up his fourth win.
Middle Tennessee State broke open the game with four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a three-run home run by Derek Phillips. The Blue Raiders added four more in the sixth, this time getting a three-run shot off the bat of Brett Carroll.
Michael Giroud's (St. Petersburg, Fla.) two-out single in the eighth scored Ryan Hyder (Erwin, Tenn.) from second to account for the final ETSU run.
Cross, Giroud, and Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) each had a pair of hits to lead ETSU's offense. Four players had two hits apiece for Middle Tennessee State, part of a 14-hit Blue Raider attack that featured three home runs and two doubles.
Bauer took the loss for the Bucs, giving up four runs, one earned, in just 1.1 innings to start the game. Josh Kite (Greenville, Tenn.), Donnie Sharp (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Reid Casey (Kingsport, Tenn.) each threw an inning of scoreless relief.
East Tennessee State will take Thursday off before swinging into action at home this weekend, hosting VMI in a three-game Southern Conference series. The first game will be held on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Cardinal Park.