April 4, 2009

Tech and Morehead split pair of one-run games in conference double header, rubber match Sunday

MOREHEAD, Ky. – After combining for 33 runs in the first game of a double header, the Tennessee Tech and Morehead State baseball teams could muster just three in the second half, as the Golden Eagles split two games with Ohio Valley Conference oppoent MSU, taking a 17-16 victory in 10 innings, before falling 2-1 in the seven-inning night-cap.

Coming off a season-high 15-run performance against East Tennessee State on Wednesday, the Golden Eagles topped that mark, lighting up the scoreboard for 17 runs. Tech (13-11, 1-6) needed every one of them, as a six-run ninth-inning by Morehead State tied the game at 15 to force extra innings.

A leadoff walk, an error, and a pair of bunts to start off the 10th inning gave Tech a 16-15 lead, and senior Alex Henry added an RBI in the frame to give Tech some insurance, that would later come in handy.

Morehead State (9-18, 2-6) got one run back in the bottom of the 10th, but Tech’s Lee Henry struck out Drew Lee to end the game, giving Tech its first OVC win of the season. The Golden Eagles improve to 3-0 in extra-inning games this season.

Tech needed just 10 hits to reach its 17 runs, and was aided by seven MSU errors. Seven of Techs 17 runs were unearned in that contest.

Ryan Dennick earned the win for Tech, going the final 1.2 innings. Lee Henry pitched 6.1 innings, while allowing just three earned runs and striking out nine MSU batters.

Sophomore A.J. Kirby-Jones hit his ninth homer of the season in the game, and senior Evan Webb belted two doubles, and each finished with three RBIs, helping Tech to the win.

The second half of the double header was much more calm. Michael Alcorn and Tyler Bess went head-to-head in a pitchers battle, each pitching complete games. Bess edged Alcorn in the end, as he struck out 10 Tech batters, allowing just one earned run and five hits in the contest. Alcorn gave up only four hits and two runs, while striking out five batters without giving up a walk.

Lee started off the scoring with an RBI triple in the first inning, and would later score to give Morehead its 2-0 lead. Tech responded with a run in the second inning, but neither team could round the bases after the top of the second, as Tech fell 2-1.

Webb and freshman Ben Burgess each had three hits on the day. Casanova Donaldson stole two bases in there tries, and scored three runs in the two games.

The split sets up a rubber match between the teams on Sunday at noon central. The Golden Eagles will return home for three-game conference series with Eastern Kentucky on April 10 and 11. Admission to Tech home baseball games is free.