Middle Tennessee's bats came alive on Tuesday, as the Blue Raiders routed Belmont 13-3 in a seven-inning run-rule affair at E.S. Rose Park.
The Blue Raiders (27-25) batted around the order in the second and third innings to plate 11 of their 13 runs. MT finished the game scoring 13 runs on 10 hits and no errors. Belmont (22-29-1) notched three runs on six hits and one error, as Middle Tennessee swept the yearly series.
Jared Allen, Ryan Stephens and Austin Bryant each collected a pair of hits in the contest. Allen went 2-for-3 with two runs, recording his C-USA leading 10th homer and drawing a walk. Bryant hit two singles with two runs and a RBI. Stephens added a homer and single, as he finished the evening with one run, a RBI and a walk.
Senior Trent Miller nailed a three-RBI double in the third for his league-best 22nd double of the year. It also was Miller's 64th of his career, moving him to second all-time and one away from the school record held by Nathan Hines. Hank LaRue hit a three-run homer and scored two runs in the contest. Michael Adkins and Jake Ingold additionally inked two runs. Freshman Brad Jarreau had a double and a sac fly to drive in three runs on Tuesday.
Starter Jonathan Sisco (2-0) earned his second win of the year with just one earned run allowed in four innings. The Murfreesboro native fanned three Bruins and walked one in 52 pitches. Nathan Foriest came in relief the next two innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Heath Slatton closed the door in the seventh retiring the Bruin batting order in seven pitches.
Belmont starter Patrick McGrath (2-9) took the loss with five runs allowed, four earned, on three hits in two innings pitched.
Drew Ferguson's leadoff triple in the first inning set up the Bruins first score of the game. Matt Beatty's single during the next at bat drove in Ferguson.
In the second, MT responded when Allen tallied the tying run off a Bryant single. Ingold drew the walk to load the bases. Jarreau belted a two RBI double to center field, scoring Adkins and Bryant. A LaRue sac fly drove in Ingold. Belmont's woes continued in the second with an E1 allowing Miller to reach first and Jarreau to score.
Stephens belted his sixth homer of the year in the third with a solo shot to left field, giving MT a five run edge. Again in the third inning, Middle Tennessee batted around the entire lineup, scoring six runs to take an 11-1 advantage. LaRue and Allen hammered home runs in fifth to give the Blue Raiders a 13-1 edge.
Belmont's William Dodd added a pair of runs with a roundtripper to left center in the sixth. Beatty led the Bruins with a 3-for-3 day at the plate. The 10-run rule was put into effective prior to the game, thus ending the contest after seven innings.
Middle Tennessee shifts its focus to a crucial regular season finale against Marshall, which begins on Thursday at Reese Smith Jr. Field. The Raiders are in prime position to clinch a spot in the C-USA Championship. Thursday and Friday's contest are set for 6 p.m. Saturday's Senior Day is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
NOTES: Trent Miller moved to sole possession of second with his 64th career double ... He is one away from the school record set by Nathan Hines ... Ryan Stephens hammered his sixth home run of the year in the third ... Hank LaRue notched his fourth home run in the fifth ... Jared Allen posted his league-leading 10th homer in the fifth ... Middle Tennessee swept the season series with Belmont ... The Raiders wrapped up non-conference play with a 13-12 record.