Making a Statement

After a rough 2011 campaign, the Blue Raider baseball team didn't start off in the best fashion. After starting the season 1-3 with a pair of losses to in-state rival Lipscomb, Coach Pete and crew have surged back with four straight victories – including today's impressive road win at Tennessee.

After the first Middle Tennessee victory in Knoxville in 18 years – no seriously . . . 18 years – a buzz is starting to build around this baseball program that was picked by some pre-season prognosticators to finish as low as eighth in the Sun Belt. It might sound silly to start getting excited about a team sitting at a 5-3 record just a couple of weeks into the season, but the way I see it is you can't ever count out any team with Coach Pete at the helm.

There are still plenty of games to be played, but at this point, fans have to glance at the team ERA (2.22) and smile. At that point fans can then choose to frown at the .217 team batting average or just skip over it altogether. There's plenty of time to work on that, though.

All stats aside, the biggest thing the Blue Raiders have on their side right now is the Big Mo – momentum. The squad is riding a four-game win streak – including a sweep over Ohio – that included some of the best pitching you could ever hope for in a three-game set. Hopefully that momentum chooses to remain with Middle this coming weekend as the team plays host to the 6-2 Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech.

At that point, we the people will really see what this team is made of. With a three-game series against an opponent like La. Tech, we will get a solid indicator of exactly how Middle Tennessee fairs against teams built to produce runs. Currently, the Bulldogs are batting .344 as a team, which explains why they're averaging 10 points a game. At the same time, their pitching staff is sitting at a woeful 6.00 ERA on the young season.

If ever there was a time for the Blue Raiders to get their bats going – this is it. With only two weeks left until Middle Tennessee opens conference play against rival Western Kentucky, there isn't much time left for growing pains. Needless to say, things will be extremely interesting between now and then, but like I said, you can't ever count out any team with Coach Pete at the helm.

Make sure to stay tuned to BlueRaiderZone.com for more on the Blue Raider baseball team as the season progresses.

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