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Thu, Nov 27, 2014

MTSU baseball rallies to beat Memphis

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Middle Tennessee came from behind with a four-run sixth inning to nip the Memphis Tigers, 6-5, on Tuesday evening at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

The Blue Raiders (13-14) held an early two-run lead before Memphis scored three in the fourth inning to take the lead. The Tigers (16-12) stretched their lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth.

In the next half inning, Trent Miller started the rally with a leadoff double. Miller scored off a fielder's choice. A Memphis fielding error would keep the Blue Raider comeback alive. Ryan Stephens and Hank LaRue eventually scored due to the Tigers' hiccup. A drawn walk by Michael Adkins allowed Jake Ingold to score the game-winning run.

Jake Little helped Memphis make a threat in the ninth. Little was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Closer Heath Slatton struck out Tucker Tubbs before catching Little off guard in a pickoff to end the threat. Slatton then forced pinch hitter Nate Rupiper to groundout, securing the Blue Raider victory.

Murfreesboro native Jonathan Sisco (1-0) earned his first win exactly two years on the date he picked up his last victory at South Alabama. The right-hander gave up just one run on a hit, while striking out three in two and a third innings thrown. Slatton closed the door in the final three innings with just two hits allowed and three strikeouts for his second save this season. Memphis' Ryan Garner fell to 0-2 with six runs allowed on nine hits in 5.1 innings pitched.

Ingold led MT with 2-for-4 performance, notching two runs and a career-best three RBI. Austin Bryant, Jared Allen and Miller all added two hits each. Miller earned his 200th career hit with a single up the middle in the third inning. MT finished the day scoring six runs on 12 hits.

In the second inning, Ingold inked his second homer of the year with a two-run long bomb to right field. Zach Schrienthal's sac fly drove in the Tigers' Carter White to tie the game, 2-2, in the top of the fourth. Zach Willis doubled to left field scoring two more runs to give Memphis a 4-2 edge. Willis later added another run in the sixth. The second baseman went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.

The Blue Raiders put together four runs in the sixth to take the go-ahead lead. Memphis threatened in the ninth when Little reached third with no outs. Slatton picked off the nimble right fielder to end the threat and clinch the win.

Middle Tennessee and Memphis close out the two-game series on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. first pitch. LHP Nathan Foriest (0-3, 7.48 ERA) takes the mound for the Raiders, facing UM's Dylan Toscano (2-1, 5.09 ERA).

NOTES: Ryan Stephens made his 152nd consecutive game played on Tuesday evening, tying Ryan Ford (2013) ... Trent Miller inked his 200th career hit in the third inning ... Miller now has 53 doubles in his career, which currently stands sixth ... Jake Ellison notched his first triple this season with a rope to left center ... Jonathan Sisco earned his first win since beating South Alabama on April 1, 2012.

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