It was yet another tough luck day for Auburn starter Daniel Koger. Allowing just three hits in seven innings, the sophomore left the game in the top of the eighth inning after freshman Jordan Ebert booted a ground ball to give the Blue Raiders some life. Throwing 105 pitches, Koger turned things over to closer Terrance Dedrick. Getting the first two hitters the junior college transfer left one over the plate that Thomas deposited over the wall in right field for a two-run homer that would prove to be the game winner.
Auburn's only offensive output came in the first inning thanks to mistakes from the Blue Raiders. Leading off the game, freshman Jackson Burgreen walked to start his good day at the plate. He later added a pair of singles for two of Auburn's three hits for the game. At first with nobody out, Burgreen advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a wild pitch from Adkins. With one out a Ryan Tella groundout to second base scored the Athens, Ala. freshman to make it 1-0 Tigers.
That's how things would stand until the eighth with a pitcher's duel breaking out between Koger and MTSU's Hunter Adkins. Allowing just three hits and one unearned run in seven innings, Koger struck out six and walked just one. Adkins was even better for the Blue Raiders as he allowed just one earned run on three hits in eight innings and struck out five through eight innings.
Adkins day ended quickly in the ninth however as Tella walked to send the talented starter to the showers with reliever Paul Mittura coming in for the Blue Raiders to face Garrett Cooper. A strikeout by the senior brought Damek Tomscha to the plate and he got on base as he was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on for Cullen Wacker. Pulling an inside pitch, the senior looked like he would end the game on a double play, but his bat hit the catcher for interference to load the bases with one out.
That brought junior catcher Blake Austin to the plate for the Tigers. Trying to drive something to the outfield once he got two strikes, Austin popped up to the second baseman for the second out of the inning. With Patrick Savage due up after he moved to the outfield the previous inning, Auburn instead decided to play the odds and sent redshirt freshman lefty J.D. Crowe to the plate for his first career at-bat. The move didn't pay off however as Crowe popped out to end the game and hand the Tigers their first loss.
Burgreen had two hits to lead the Tigers with fellow freshman Jordan Ebert getting the only other hit for Auburn. Middle Tennessee had five hits with no player getting more than one for the Blue Raiders.
Auburn will face College of Charleston Saturday at 2:30 at Plainsman Park in the second game of the day.