April 28, 2009

Choate leads Tech to victory over Alabama A&M, Tech wins third straight

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Eight innings of one-run ball from pitcher Chason Choate, and five RBIs from Tate McMillan were more than enough for the Tennessee Tech baseball team, as the Golden Eagles cruised past Alabama A&M 7-1 in Bush Stadium.

Choate started the game, and allowed only one run on four hits, while striking out five batters, for his first decision of the season.

“We got a great performance from Chason tonight,” head coach Matt Bragga said. “Not only tonight, but in the last seven days we’ve called upon him three times, and he has come through for us each time.”

Tech (22-17, 7-9) broke open the scoring in the first inning when Casanova Donaldson tripled, and later scored on a single from A.J. Kirby-Jones, before McMillan hit a three-run homer that carried all the way into the adjacent softball field, putting the Golden Eagles up 4-0.

“Tate put a really nice swing on that ball,” Bragga said. “We’re very pleased with the way he has been performing.”

McMillan, who hit a walk-off double to give Tech a 1-0 against UT Martin over the weekend, finished the day Monday going 2-for-4 from the plate with five RBIs and a run scored. Freshman Ben Burgess also went 2-for-4 and scored a run in the game.

Ryan Dennick came in to pitch the ninth inning, and struck out the side in order.

The Bulldogs got their lone run off a home run Marcus Spencer in the fifth inning. The hit was AAMU’s first of the game, and made the score 4-1.

The Golden Eagles would respond with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, and add their seventh run on a sacrifice fly from Chad Hayes that scored Evan Webb, who reached on his 14th double of the season.

The Golden Eagles continue non-conference action with a game Wednesday at Western Carolina. Tech will stay on the road over the weekend for a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Murray State, before returning to Cookeville for their final conference series of the season against Jacksonville state on May 9-10.