|KNOXVILLE - The Middle Tennessee baseball team grabbed an early lead, but it wasn't enough to outlast a Tennessee comeback bid as the Blue Raiders fell 5-4 to the Volunteers on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville.
Justin Guidry had a solid day at the plate, playing a role in all but one Middle Tennessee score. The junior was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and a pair of runs batted in.
Ryan Ford also had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-4. Hank LaRue finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a run, andDain McNabb was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run as well.
On the mound, Matt Drake made his second career start and pitched five innings, allowing a pair of runs on four hits while striking out three and walking one.
Judd Stoltz came on in relief and was pegged with the loss after giving up three runs in a third of an inning.
Hunter Dawson and Cody Tollison combined to hold the Volunteers scoreless over the final 2.2 innings, allowing just three hits.
After spotting the Vols (23-23) a run in the bottom of the second, the Blue Raiders responded with a pair of scores in the top of the third. McNabb led off with a double, and advanced to third on a Ryan Stephens bunt single. Johnny Thomas grounded into a double play to bring him home. LaRue followed up by earning a walk and stole second to move into scoring position. Guidry singled to right to to hand MT their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Guidry helped propel the Blue Raiders (15-33) to two more runs in the fifth. With Thomas sitting on third, Guidry singled through the right side and later scored on a Will Skinner double to left center to give Middle Tennessee a three-run advantage.
However, Tennessee added four runs over the following two innings to grab a slim 5-4 edge, which held through for the final score.
Middle Tennessee will now prepare for a rematch with Tennessee on Wednesday evening at Reese Smith Jr. Field. Daniel Palo is slated to throw for the Blue Raiders, and first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.