Aces baseball evens up series at Middle Tennessee State, with 5-3 win

Purple Aces baseball
Purple Aces baseball(WFIE)
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 11:23 PM CST
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MURFREESBORO, TN. (WFIE) - The University of Evansville baseball team executed in all three facets of the game on Saturday – pitching, defense, and at the plate – to even its three-game series at Middle Tennessee State with a 5-3 victory at Reese Smith Jr Field in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The rubber match of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN+.

“This was a great win to get back into the series,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll. “We had a good plan against their starter, and were able to get out in front early. Then, we continued to play great defense, and I thought that our bullpen was outstanding to secure today’s win.”

Evansville threatened in the first two innings, putting runners in scoring position in each frame, but came up empty to start. Evansville was finally able to break through though in the third inning and manufacture three runs to grab control of the contest.

Two walks and an infield single by fifth-year first-baseman Chase Hug loaded the bases with no one out. Evansville would plate its first run on a passed ball, before a wild pitch scored a second run. UE junior catcher Brendan Hord then came through with a sacrifice fly to give UE a 3-0 cushion.

The Blue Raiders would quickly respond with two runs in the bottom of the third inning to cut the deficit to 3-2. The score would remain that way until the top of the fifth inning, when UE fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts crushed a pay-off pitch to right-center field for his third home run of the year to give UE a 4-2 lead. The Purple Aces would then turn to the bullpen, and graduate transfer Jarrett Blunt and senior Jakob Meyer took care of the rest.

Blunt (2-0) worked three scoreless innings out of the UE bullpen, scattering two singles and a walk while striking out four to earn the victory on the mound. Meyer then worked a perfect eighth inning, and after UE tacked on another run in the ninth inning on a wild pitch, he surrendered a run on a hit while striking out two to earn his first save of the season.

Offensively, UE pounded out eight hits, with Hug, fifth-year outfielder Danny Borgstrom and sophomore outfielder Ty Rumsey all collecting two hits. Evansville also was able to work nine walks in the contest, with all nine men in the lineup reaching base safely.

Shortstop Brett Coker went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead MTSU offensively.

With the victory, Evansville improves to 8-7 overall, and the Purple Aces have won eight of their last 10 contests. Middle Tennessee State, meanwhile, sees its record even at 7-7. The series will conclude Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. with UE sending junior LHP Donovan Schultz (1-1, 5.14 ERA) to the mound for his fourth start of the year.