Mudcats sweep Spring Hill
The Middle Tennessee Mudcats sizzled in the summer heat at Spring Hill Tuesday, coming away with a hard earned double-header sweep (6-4, 9-3) to even their record at 5-5.
The Mudcats opened the twin bill being held scoreless for three innings by Spring Hill pitcher Zack King, who held a 2-0 lead before leaving in the top of the fourth when Middle Tennessee came up with three runs.
Alex Brewer got things going for the Mudcats, lashing a leadoff triple before Zach Harrison beaned Austin Harmon, who promptly stole second base.
Landon Jones followed with a two-run single, tying the game and Tanner Garvin singled to left field.
Jacob Jones, who came on to run for Garvin stole second base, but a groundball to Austin Dunston at short turned into an out at home.
Jones went to third on the play and came home with the go-ahead run when Bryce Oliver executed a perfect squeeze bunt, making it 3-2.
Garvin started for the Mudcats on the hill and in the bottom of the fourth he walked the first three batters he faced, loading the sacks full of Raiders.
Austin Hale hit a little humpback liner to Jonathon Lykins at short, who snagged the ball in short left field and threw to Brewer at third for a double play.
Hunter Whitwell came up and drilled a single up the middle, but Harmon scooped up the baseball and fired to Boone Sweeney at home, who put the tag on the Spring Hill runner, ending the inning.
The Mudcats left two runners on base in the top of the fifth, and in the home half of the inning, Spring Hill got their revenge, scoring twice to take a 4-3 lead.
Garvin led off the sixth inning with a base on balls and Sweeney came up and hit a ball right back to the Spring Hill pitcher on what looked like a sure double-play, but the throw sailed in to centerfield and both runners were safe.
Oliver delivered in the clutch again, ripping the game tying single to left that scored Jacob Jones, who had come on to run for Garvin.
Oliver came to the hill in relief of Brewer in the in the bottom of the sixth and escaped a two-on, one-out jam with a strikeout and a pop-up to first base.
Jordan Jent reached on a pinch hit error to lead off the top of the seventh and Ryan Yelensky re-entered as the runner at first.
After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, Yelensky stole second before Brewer walked.
Brewer took off for second, putting both Mudcats in scoring position and Harmon made Spring Hill pay when he roped a two-run single to center, making it a 6-4 ballgame.
Oliver gave up a two-out base on balls in the home half of the frame before he finished off the contest in style, whiffing the final Spring Hill batter.
Oliver picked up the win on the mound for the Mudcats, tossing two scoreless innings and at the plate, Oliver went 1-3 with two RBIs.
Garvin (2-2, BB, RBI, RS, SB) had two hits, while Brewer (1-2, 2RS, 2BB), Harmon (1-3, RS, 2RBIs, HBP, SB), Landon Jones (1-4, 2RBIs), Sweeney (1-3), Lykins (1-2), and Yelensky (1-2, RS, 2SB) all had one hit apiece for the Mudcats.
In game two, the Mudcats and Spring Hill played to an even 3-3 tie through five innings before the Chapel Hill boys exploded with a six-run sixth inning to secure a 9-3 win and complete the sweep.
Jacob Jones led the offensive explosion for the Mudcats, going 2-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base.
Cain Harrison (2-3, RS) had two for the Mudcats, while Jalen Smith (1-1, RS, 2BB, 2SB), Oliver (1-3), Logan Hollingsworth (1-2, 2RS, HBP), and Landon Jones (1-2, 2RBIs) all had one hit.
Yelensky scored twice and was hit by a pitch.