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Third Inning Slam Dooms Owls in Series Opener Versus Raiders

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Third Inning Slam Dooms Owls in Series Opener Versus Raiders

Nathan Hines' grand slam was part of a five-run third inning for Middle Tennessee as the Blue Raiders knocked off the Owls 7-2 in the three game Sun Belt series opener on Friday night in Murfreesboro.

FAU had nine hits and had led in the early innings but MTSU starter Bryce Brentz - the 2008 Sun Belt "Freshman of the Year" and unanimous freshmen All-America - tossed his first career complete game, striking out six, and retiring nine straight Owl batters in the middle innings.

Without a hit ,the Blue Raiders put two runners on in each of the first two innings. However, Mike Gipson got FAU out of early jams. The Owls took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third.

But MTSU broke through in the third. With the bases loaded and no outs Rawley Bishop singled to tie the game at one and Hines followed with an opposite-field grand slam. Hine's  bomb was the 30th home run for MTSU this season, and tops among all Sun Belt Conference teams.

Mike Gipson (1-2) allowed just five hits through five innings but three fielding errors and four walks left him charged with six runs; moving his season ERA up to 5.20 ERA.

Anthony Mesa hit a solo homer to leftfield in the seventh - his second in the last three games. He was 2-for-4 on the night.

MTSU improved to 12-2 on its home field in newly renovated on-campus stadium.

The Owls stranded 10 runners.

Florida Atlantic stands at 13-4 overall and 3-3 in Sun Belt play with the loss.

Source:  FAU Media Relations

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