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Trojans drop heartbreaker to Middle Tennessee, 4-3

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Josh Archer scored on Troy Harp’s chopper over the third baseman to push Middle Tennessee past Troy State, 4-3, in a non-conference baseball game at Reese Smith Field Wednesday. Troy State falls to 9-19 and MTSU improves to 17-6.

Troy State got an excellent outing from freshman right-hander Lucas Parks who was making his first career start. Parks lasted six innings and struck out six as he received a no-decision.

"He made a lot of good pitches and threw all of his pitches for strikes," head coach John Mayotte said. "I think he proved he is ready to help the staff on a regular basis."

MTSU took advantage of a first-inning error by Trojan shortstop Daryl Griggs and scored the first run of the game. Leadoff man Chuck Akers hit a ball deep in the hole and reached first safely when Griggs mishandled the ball. Akers eventually scored from third on a single by Marshall Nisbett.

Troy State tied the game in the third when Chad Howard scored from first on Wade Miller’s double to left center. Wade Miller was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, while Howard collected two hits.

Three innings later the Trojans took the lead on Brian Lipman’s mammoth home run to left field. It was his seventh of the season and also scored Drew Miller who had singled two pitches earlier. Drew Miller finished 2-for-4 on the day.

The Blue Raiders tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh when they received four walks and a hit batter from the Trojan bullpen. Pat Hakey walked the first two batters before being lifted for Phillip Powell who eventually finished the inning.

Troy State got out of a huge jam in the eighth when Nisbett grounded out with the bases loaded.

After retiring the Trojans in order in the ninth, the Blue Raiders opened the home-half of the ninth with a double to left center by Doug Kunicki. He was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Harp chopper.

Chris Mobley (3-0) went 2.2 innings and received the win after walking two and striking out three. Mal Winters was saddled with the loss after allowing one run and walking three in 1.1 innings of work.

Troy State will return home to face Mercer this weekend. Friday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m. and Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.