However, it was Ryan Stephens' two-out run-scoring season that provided the game-winner as the Raiders outdid the Volunteers 5-4 in 10 innings at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville on Tuesday.
It was the first loss under coach Dave Serrano for UT. Their record drops to 7-1, while Middle Tennessee improved to 5-3.
Leading 1-0, the Vols doubled their early advantage on a Wes Walker single that plated Chris Fritts in the fourth.
Stephens, Justin Guidry and Johnny Thomas all had hits in a three-run sixth for the Murfreesboro bunch.
An unearned run in the eighth gave the Blue Raiders a 4-2 upper hand before the late-game theatrics by both teams.
Chris Pierce and Parker Wormsley both had two hits for the Vols.
MT totaled 10 knocks with Stephens, Thomas and Dain McNabb having two apiece.
Carter Watson tossed four innings of two-hit, shutout ball as Tennessee's starter. David Horne gave up one run in 1 1/3. Robbie Kidd and Nick Williams both threw 2 1/3.
Tennessee takes part in the Houston College Classic now with its first matchup being against Houston at Minute Maid Park on Friday at 3:30 CST. The Big Orange play Texas on Saturday and Rice on Sunday.
To get Tennessee coach Dave Serrano's thoughts after the loss, click play on the video below:
To see images of the action courtesy InsideTennessee from the surface of Robert Lindsay Field, scroll below (click to enlarge):