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MTSU Wins Against Austin Peay After Pitching Error

By: Jordan Binkley

MT Sports Reporter

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee baseball beats Austin Peay 7-6 after a wild pitch led the Blue Raiders to a walk-off run Tuesday at Reese Smith Jr. Field.

While trailing since the fourth inning, the Blue Raiders were down 6-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth; however, MTSU still had fight left in them. After a pitch hit Jackson Galloway and Brian Dillingham got a single off a sacrificial bunt, MTSU tied the game off a single from Brett Coker, leading Galloway to score from second.

With two outs, the Governors then walked Nick Jones, which loaded the bases for MTSU.

With Nathan Sanders up to bat, Austin Peay's pitcher Nick Wellman threw a wild pitch that soared towards the dugout, allowing Dillingham to score a walk-off run.

"We were ready to get that walk-off win; we haven't had a walk-off win this year," pitcher James Sells said after an emotional victory. "Once we got some runners on, we knew we were going to make some things happen."

With two outs, the Governors then walked Nick Jones, which loaded the bases for MTSU. With Nathan Sanders up to bat, Austin Peay's pitcher Nick Wellman threw a wild pitch that soared towards the dugout, allowing Dillingham to score a walk-off run.

"We were ready to get that walk-off win; we haven't had a walk-off win this year," pitcher James Sells said after an emotional victory. "Once we got some runners on, we knew we were going to make some things happen."

Sells came off the bullpen in the seventh inning and played a pivotal role in the win for MTSU by racking up three strikeouts and leaving the Governors scoreless for the last three innings.

"It's always important to get ahead of hitters, and I had all my stuff working," said Sells. "I was able to make some good pitches, execute some pitches and get some guys out."

At the top of the first inning, Austin Peay's Jack Alexander hit a two-run home run giving the Governors the first lead of the game. However, the Blue Raiders answered when Sanders doubled to left field, allowing Mason Spiers and Coker to score. MTSU grabbed their first lead of the game next at-bat when Brycen Thomas singled to center field and Sanders scored.

Austin Peay retaliated in the top of the second when Michael Robinson scored after Tyler Cotto's hit was grounded out.

The scoring did not continue until the fourth inning when Robinson scored after Gino Avros was walked with the bases loaded, giving the Governors a 5-3 lead.

After a scoreless fifth inning, Austin Peay added onto their lead in the top of the sixth when Jonah Beamon homered to right field.

However, the Blue Raiders regained their composure in the seventh inning when pinch hitter Wyatt Morgan hit a two-run home run, allowing Galloway to score from third. Morgan's home run was the first home run by pinch hitter for the Blue Raiders all season.

Both teams went scoreless in the eighth inning, but MTSU sealed the win in the bottom of the ninth with the aforementioned pitching blunder that led to the walk-off run.

Sells finished the game with a 3.68 ERA with no runs scored. Sanders and Galloway both led the Blue Raiders with two RBIs apiece.

Wellman of Austin Peay finished with an 11.88 ERA and two runs scored. The governor's leading scorer, Alexander, finished with two RBIs and one home run.

The Blue Raiders face their biggest test Friday as they begin C-USA play against Old Dominion. The Monarchs are 14-1 on the season; if MTSU can win this next game, it could set the tone for the remainder of the season.

"It'll be a big test for us, but our guys are going to be loose," Toman said when discussing his next matchup. "We're not going to be tight, and we're not afraid."

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