COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Through three and a half innings
Sunday the Tennessee Tech baseball team looked like it was in for a
tightly contested battle as it faced Cleveland State in the finale
of a three-game series. But with a 2-2 tie heading into the bottom
of the fourth inning, Tech’s bats came through in a big way
as the Golden Eagles combined for 18 runs in the middle innings en
route to a 21-3 series-clinching victory.
Tech freshman Tristan Archer got the start on the mound and went six innings, allowing one earned run and four hits while striking out five Cleveland State batters in his first career win. The Golden Eagles improve to 4-2 on the season while Cleveland State falls to 1-5.
Tech piled up 21 runs on 21 hits and committed three errors, while the Vikings managed three runs on five hits with one error.
Seven different Tech batters had multiple hits, including three with three hits each, and a four-hit game for Casanova Donaldson. Donaldson went 4-for-5 at the plate with six RBIs, Tate McMillan went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, Chad Oberacker went 3-for-5 with and RBI and Austin Wulf went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Freshman Zephan Guyear went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and hit his first career home run, while A.J. Kirby-Jones went 2-for-2 and Chad Hayes finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Donaldson’s four hits were one shy of tying Tech’s single-game record, which he shares after going 5-for-5 against East Tennessee State last season. His six RBIs were also one short of tying Tech’s single-game record with three players.
Oberacker pitched the final three innings for Tech, allowing just one hit while fanning four batters. Cleveland State went through six pitchers in the game, with starter Nate Dick getting the loss after allowing six runs.
With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Donaldson put Tech on the board with a two-run single to give Tech a 2-1 lead. Cleveland State tied the game in the top of the third, but Tech would bat around and score six runs in the fourth, bat through and add five runs in the fifth, and bat around and plate seven runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
The Golden Eagles will visit Vanderbilt Tuesday for a single-game non-conference showdown before returning home to host Bradley in a three-game weekend series beginning with a double-header on Saturday (March 6). Admission to all Tech home baseball games is free.