March 28, 2014
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to claim a 3-2 win over the Owls in the opener of a three-game Conference USA weekend series Friday evening in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Skyler Ewing quickly put the Owls on the board in the top of the first inning. The Arlington, Texas, native connected on a pitch for his team-leading fourth home run of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Middle Tennessee came right back and tied the score in the bottom of the second. Hank LuRue led off with a solo homer to right to make it 1-1. The Blue Raiders used the longball again to take the lead two innings later. In the fourth Trent Miller led off with his second home run of the season for a 2-1 advantage.
The Owls worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth before drawing even in the seventh. With one away John Clay Reeves reached second on a two-base throwing error. Michael Aquino doubled to center to bring him home for a new 2-2 game.
Zech Lemond started on the mound for Rice and worked into the bottom of the seventh. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. Matt Ditman relieved him and got the final two outs of the inning to get out danger where the Blue Raiders had two men on base.
Rice led off the ninth with a hit but could not convert Charlie Warren's single to a run. Middle Tennessee rallied for the go-ahead score in the eighth. Jared Allen led off with a single and he moved to second on a ground out. Michael Adkins followed with an RBI single to center to make it 3-2.
Rice dropped to 20-8 on the season and 8-2 in C-USA league play. Middle Tennessee is now 11-13 overall and 6-4 in conference.
The C-USA weekend series continues through Sunday. Saturday's contest is slated for 4 pm.