The Middle Tennessee baseball team suffered its first Conference USA loss by a score of 4-2 at No. 19 Florida Atlantic Friday night. The Blue Raiders fall to 11-8 overall and 3-1 in league play.
After a fast start and jumping up 2-0 on the Owls, MT chased FAU starter Kyle Miller out of the game in the fifth after tallying seven hits and four doubles. However, only two balls were put in play against FAU relievers in the final 4.2 innings.
The Blue Raiders couldn’t solve FAU reliever Reily Monkman who struck out a career-high nine in three-and-two-thirds to earn the win.
In total, the Raiders struck out 18 times which tied the MT school record and set a new FAU program record for most strikeouts in a game. MT also failed to draw a walk or hit-by-pitch.
The Blue Raiders scored first after Kevin Dupree led off with a double in the third. Three of Dupree’s five doubles this season have led off an inning. He came around on a Brad Jarreau groundout two batters later.
MT took a 2-0 lead the following inning when Jake Ingold scored from second on an Austin Bryant single past the FAU third baseman.
Ingold (2-for-4) and Ronnie Jebavy (2-for-4) each registered a multi-hit performance. Jebavy also swiped his league-leading 12th base.
Starter Johnathan Frebis cruised through the first four frames allowing just one hit, until a pair of unusual plays in the fifth changed the game.
The first FAU batter of the inning popped up at the edge of the grass behind Delgado at second base, but a charging Jarreau called off Delgado and the ball fell at Jarreau’s feet. Two batters later, a sharp single to left field got past Jared Allen to allow the first FAU run to cross.
With two outs in the inning and runner at second, Frebis induced a chopped-ground ball that Dupree gloved up the first-base line. However, a diving Frebis couldn’t beat the runner at first as the runner from second came all the way around to score on the play.
The Owls went ahead 4-2 in the sixth after adding two runs on a pair of back-to-back singles. Frebis was dealt the loss with a final line of six innings, nine hits, four runs, three walks and four strikeouts.
FAU closer Bo Logan picked up his fourth save. MT left five runners on and FAU stranded six.
Game two gets started at 3 p.m. tomorrow. MT will send out junior Nate Hoffmann to try and even the series.