MURFREESBORO, TN– Middle Tennessee State plated four runs with two outs in the seventh inning to take the first game of the final series of the season of The Herd 6-2.

Coming into the the series, Marshall had an outside of shot to qualify for the Conference USA tournament but the loss guarantees The Herd will finish outside the top nine in the league.

Marshall scored both its runs in the second inning. Tennessee native T.J. Diffenderfer led off the inning with a solo homerun over the left field wall.

“It felt great getting to come home and be back here,” Diffenderfer said of the moment. “It was pretty cool to be back and play against guys I know and to be able to get us on the board like that.”

Spencer Iacovone followed Diffenderfer’s homer with an RBI double that gave The Herd a 2-0 lead. However, Marshall’s bats would be silenced for the rest of the game.

MTSU starter Zac Curtis tossed 7 2/3 innings, tying a career high 12 strikeouts. Curtis now has 130 strikeouts on the season, moving him into second all-time on the single season strikeout list at MTSU.

Game two of the series is set for Friday night at 7 p.m.

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