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April 12, 2011

Mid-week in Murfreesboro; Tech baseball takes on Middle

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will head to Murfreesboro on Wednesday for a mid-week match-up against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, with the first pitch of the evening set for 6 p.m.

Tech is coming off a 2-1 series victory over Ohio Valley Conference opponent Southeast Missouri State this past weekend, having swept Saturday's double-header in Bush Stadium and dropping Sunday's finale game in a late-game push by the Redhawks to clinch the win.

The series left the Golden Eagles with a 13-17 overall record headed into this week's contests, with an even 3-3 stand in the OVC.

Led by sophomore Evan Frazier at the plate, the Golden Eagles will look to close the gap between wins and losses on their record, and narrow the lifetime series with the Blue Raiders, who have a 104-63-1 hold over time. Frazier is currently batting .377 for Tech, recording 29 hits – nine of which were for extra bases, including five long-balls- and 19 RBI for his team. He's slugging .623 in 21 games played this season, all of which he started at either the designated hitter's position or behind the dish.

Power-hitter Zach Stephens (batting .328) and veteran outfielder Chad Oberacker (.296) lead Tech with 125 at-bats apiece and have each started all 30 games of the season for the Golden Eagles. They rank first and second respectively in runs batted in for Tech, with Stephens recording 31 and Oberacker following closely behind with 29 this year.

Freshman southpaw Jake McWhirter will take the hill first for Tech, making his seventh start and 11th overall appearance of the yar. McWhirter has notched 23 strikeouts in 25.1 innings of work this year and will be looking for his first win of the season, as he holds an 0-3 record thus far.

MTSU's starter has still yet to be determined.

The Blue Raiders, who hung a 10-6 loss on the Golden Eagles earlier this season, currently sit with a 9-22 record, and represent the Sun Belt Conference with a 3-9 stand. They are led at the plate by Will Skinner, who's notched 44 hits in 125 at bats for a .352 average. He also ranks at the top of the team in total bases with 78 and RBI on the year, having sent 24 runs across the plate for Middle.

Vanderbilt will provide one more challenge for MTSU before they take on the Golden Eagles though, as the Blue Raiders are set to match-up against the Commodores on Tuesday evening at Reese Smith Jr. Field. Headed into the contest,  the Blue Raiders are coming off of an 8-4 win over the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, on Sunday which prevented a series sweep by UALR.

Fans who won't be making the trip to Murfreesboro can follow the LiveStats, courtesy of MTSU, here.