NEW ORLEANS - Junior DH Jake Ingold delivered a pair of clutch hits, a double to tie the game and a go-ahead homer, leading the MTSU baseball team to a 5-4 win over Tulane in the third and final game of a weekend series at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Raiders improve to 9-13 and 5-4 in Conference USA, while the Green Wave falls to 12-11 and 5-4 in conference play.
Junior RHP Kooper Kessler gave the Blue Raiders a lift out of the bullpen, tossing five innings of scoreless, hitless relief. The lone baserunner Kessler allowed was on a ninth-inning walk.
The Blue Raiders struck first on an RBI infield single by junior LF Jared Allen in the first inning, plating senior CF Ryan Stephens for a 1-0 lead. Stephens singled with one out, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher.
Tulane would tally three in the first on a three-run double before getting one more in the second for the four Green Wave runs.
Middle Tennessee would score three two-out runs in the fourth to knot the game at 4-4. An RBI single to right field by junior C Michael Adkins cut the deficit to 4-2, scoring senior 1B Trent Miller, who doubled to lead off the inning. Junior 2B Austin Bryant would walk to keep the two-out rally alive, before Ingold stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run double to right-center.
The game would stay knotted at four until the seventh inning, when Ingold led off the inning and clubbed a 2-1 pitch to left that clipped the top of the wall and went over for a solo homer. The go-ahead shot was the first home run for Ingold as a Blue Raider.
Kessler, who entered in the fifth, would continue to set down the Green Wave, retiring the first 12 Tulane hitters he faced. A leadoff walk in the ninth would advance to second on a sacrifice and third on a groundout before Bryant snared a line drive to seal the 5-4 victory.
Kessler picked up the win in relief, while Tulane's Andy Massey was charged with the loss after giving up the home run to Ingold.
The Blue Raiders are back in action Tuesday at 6 p.m. when Middle Tennessee hosts Lipscomb at Reese Smith, Jr. Field.