Raider Roundup: Ohio
Nick Montgomery
Contributor - BlueRaiderZone.com
Posted Feb 28, 2010


The Blue Raiders baseball team used a combination of dominant offense and timely defense and pitching to earn a three-game sweep in their 2010 Reese Smith, Jr. Field debut.

Game One

Middle Tennessee: 11
Ohio: 6
W: Nick Montgomery (2-0, 1.23)
L: Bryce Butt (0-1, 12.60)

- Blue Raider starter Kenneth Roberts started strong by pitching three scoreless innings to begin the weekend. Unfortunately, things fell apart in the fourth inning when Roberts gave up six runs (five earned) to raise his ERA to 6.52 on the season. One positive note for Roberts: he notched four strikeouts on the day while only giving up one walk.

- Nick Montgomery earned his second win of the short season by putting on a dominant performance during which he allowed only one hit, no walks and struck out two. Montgomery's two wins and 1.23 ERA currently lead the team.

- Offensively, several Blue Raiders had big nights. Most notable was Tyler Burnett, who's 4-for-5 performance was good enough to raise his batting average to .429 on the season. Along with his four hits, Burnett also tallied three runs and an RBI. Justin Guidry, Justin Jones and Stuart Meinhart all earned three hits for the night.

- Key Moment: In the top of the second, Kenneth Roberts worked himself into a jam by giving up a hit and a base on balls with only one out. Roberts managed to get the next Bobcat batter to fly out before notching his second strikeout of the day to end the inning and the Ohio threat.

Game Two

Middle Tennessee: 5
Ohio: 4
W: Justin Guidry (1-0, 2.25)
L: Michael Dillon (0-1, 27.00)
S: Kevin Whittaker (2)

- Burnett continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Center fielder Bryce Brentz notched two runs as well as a part of his 2-for-5 performance. Left fielder Justin Jones made the most of his 1-for-3 day by knocking in two Blue Raider runs in the bottom of the first inning.

- Justin Guidry earned player of the game honors by going 2-for-5 at the plate before reversing roles and pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief for the win. While on the mound, Guidry gave up only one run on five hits.

Game Three

Middle Tennessee: 14
Ohio: 6
W: Eric Gilley (1-0, 3.18)
L: Ryan Bores (0-2)

- Burnett made his curtain call for the weekend a memorable one. While only going 2-for-5 at the plate, he managed to smash a two-run shot over the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Guidry followed up his Saturday performance with a long ball of his own during next at-bat. On the day, Guidry went 3-for-5 with three RBI's and two runs scored.

- Starter Eric Gilley earned a win in his Blue Raider debut. He did a fine job filling in for the injured Chad Edwards by going five innings and only giving up only two runs (one earned). Gilley struggled with his control, however, as he failed to earn a strikeout and gave up four walks.

- Redshirt freshman shortstop Robert Lawrence made a strong first impression after pinch hitting for starter Ryan Ford in the bottom of the sixth. He reached base in his first Blue Raider at-bat thanks to a fielder's choice and followed with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

- The Blue Raider defense had their work cut out for them today as Ohio notched 12 hits and was given seven free passes. They were able to minimized the damage, however by forcing the Bobcats to leave 11 men stranded on the day. Middle's defense also converted an impressive four double-plays over the course of the game.

Top Honors

The top of the Blue Raider order caught fire during the first home stand of 2010. The averages of the first four hitters are as follows:

1. Tyler Burnett - .478 (11-for-23)
2. Justin Guidry - .500 (12-for-24)
3. Bryce Brentz - .368 (7-for-19)
4. Blake McDade - .409 (9-for-22)

Starting off Right

Middle Tennessee newcomers Eric Gilley and Robert Lawrence both made big splashes in their Blue Raider debut in Sunday's finale. Gilley earned the win after five up-and-down innings and Lawrence hit a two-run home run in his second career at-bat.

Walks-a-Plenty

While there is plenty to celebrate after the first home stand, there are some items that Coach Peterson will surely address. One major negative from the weekend: Middle Tennessee pitchers gave up a combined total of 15 walks. Conversely, they only managed a total of ten strikeouts.

The Blue Raiders will travel to Carbondale, Ill. on Tuesday for the beginning of a two-game series against Southern Illinois. Stay tuned to BlueRaiderZone.com for the latest!


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 -by BlueRaiderPower.com  Mar 1, 2010
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