Middle Tennessee erupts late, beats ULL 12-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee scored 10 unanswered runs over its final four at-bats to rally and defeat the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 12-5 Friday night in the opening game of a three-game Sun Belt Conference baseball series.

The Blue Raiders (13-10, 1-3) did their damage off the Cajuns bullpen, which was charged with 10 runs after starting pitcher Ryan Wilson scattered four hits and gave up two runs over the first four innings.

ULL (17-4, 3-1) scored in four of its first five at-bats to take a 5-2 lead in the fifth. But the Blue Raiders took advantage of the Cajuns’ defensive miscues in the bottom of the fifth to draw even at 5-5.

MT broke the tie in the sixth inning after a throwing error on a steal of third base, then began to pull away when Ryan Ford’s two-run home run to center field extended the hosts’ lead to 8-5. The Blue Raiders added two more runs, one a sacrifice fly and another an RBI single to double up the Cajuns after six.

MT scored single runs in its final two at bats for the final margin.

The series continues at 4 p.m. Saturday as sophomore Austin Robichaux (3-0, 1.95 ERA) gets the start for ULL and Johnathan Frebis (2-2, 3.51) takes the mound for Middle Tennessee.

Tyler Girouard continued his hot streak for the Cajuns, picking up his third multiple-hit game in the past four outings. Girouard went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the fifth inning.

Ford was the catalyst for the Blue Raiders as he posted a game-high four RBIs in his 2-for-4 performance.

Ford was one of six MT hitters with multiple hits as the hosts piled up 14 hits, tying the most surrendered by ULL this season, twice before (against LSU and Southern Miss).

ULL had its season-best six-game winning streak snapped and dropped the opening game of a road series for the second time in as many road trips.

The Blue Raiders scored three runs off both Chase Traffica and Cord Cockrell and added four in the 2.2 innings that Kody Smith pitched to finish the game.

MT’s Hunter Adkins, tagged for five runs over his first five innings, held ULL scoreless his final two innings and retired the last six hitters he faced to nab a win over ULL for the second straight season.