Tech drops regular season finale, but clinches OVC Tournament berth

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Tennessee Tech baseball team dropped its regular season finale Saturday, falling in the final game of a three-game series at Southern Miss. 7-2. However, the Golden Eagles clinched a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament when UT Martin beat Jacksonville State in league play.

USM got off to a quick start, with a run in the second and third innings, before rallying for four more in the fifth to go up 6-0. Tech got a pair of runs back in the top of the eighth, when an error in the outfield allowed Alex Henry and Heath Cheverton to score, but wouldn’t come any close.

Cheverton finished the game 2-for-3 from the plate, and Chad Oberacker, A.J. Kirby-Jones, and Evan Webb each went 1-for-4.

Freshman Chad Hayes pitched the final three innings for the Golden Eagles, allowing just one run.

Tech finished the regular season 26-22-1 and 10-11-1 in the OVC, and earned the fifth seed in the OVC tournament, which will take place in Paducah, Ky. May 20-24. The Golden Eagles will face the No. 4 seed Southeast Missouri in the first game of the tournament on May 20 at 2:30 p.m. The Redhawks swept a three-game series from Tech in Cookeville during the regular season.

Heading into the day, Tech needed either Jacksonville State or Eastern Kentucky to lose in order to receive a berth in the tournament. Both team lost Saturday, which helped Tech earn the No. 5 seed. Eastern Illinois is the regular season champion, and is the No. 1 seed, while Murray State earned the second seed, and both teams will have first-round bye’s in Paducah. Morehead State earned the No. 3 seed, and will face No. 6 Jacksonville State.