After an impressive 3-2 win on Friday over No. 10 ranked Rice, the MTSU baseball team was hoping for its third win in a row on Saturday against the Owls. However, the Blue Raiders made too many errors and only had three hits to fall 8-0 to the Owls Suturday at Reese Smith Jr. Field. The final game of the three-game series will be tomorrow morning at 11 am.
Heavy rain fell on the complex a few hours before the game and made the outfield conditions very wet, and it was tricky footing for all of the players. Even routine fly outs were made more difficult because of the wet conditions.
“It was a tough day condition wise with the wind and the rain we had today,” MTSU head coach Jim McGuire said after the loss. “It was very wet. It did not actually play that bad. We did not handle the conditions very well. We did not handle their pitcher very well. It was a very difficult day for us all around. It was very disappointing coming off a high from last night’s win.”
The Owls got on the board in the top of the fourth when left fielder Michael Aquino singled to bring home designated hitter Chase McDowell to make the score 1-0.
Rice added two more runs during the next inning thanks to a couple of errors by the Blue Raiders. Second baseman Ford Stainback singled to left field, and he moved to second on a bad throw by Blue Raider senior starting pitcher Paul Mittura. First baseman Skyler Ewing doubled down the left field line to score Stainback to make it 2-0.
The next batter, John Clay Reeves, reached on an error by Blue Raider junior shortstop Dustin Delgado and the play also scored Ewing, who had moved to third on a wild pitch by MTSU junior catcher Michael Adkins earlier during the at-bat with the score now 3-0.
The Owls broke the game wide open with four runs in the top of the seventh off of new Blue Raider junior pitcher Kooper Kessler. Stainbeck reached on an infield single. He later scored on when MTSU junior left fielder Jared Allen dropped a pop fly on a hit by Reeves to make the score 4-0. Third baseball Shane Hoelscher doubled down the right field line to bring home Ewing and Reeves increasing the lead to 6-0. Centerfielder John Williamson singled Hoelscher home for the final run of the inning with the advantage at 7-0.
Ewing nailed a Blue Raider pitch over the left field wall for his fifth homer of the year in the top of the ninth to increase the Owls advantage to 8-0.
Mittura picked up the loss and dropped his record to 1-1 on the season. Blake Fox got the win for the Owls by only giving up three hits to improve to 6-0 on the season. However, Mittura allowed just one earned run through six innings of work.